Acupuncture is an ancient Chinese medicine used in the treatment of numerous conditions where fine needles are used to treat many conditions. It is based on the belief that throughout the body there is a type of energy called Qi (pronounced chee) which flows through specific channels called meridians. When there is a problem Qi cannot flow leading to pain, so by stimulating points along these meridians, the energy flow is restored.

Acupuncture is now widely used in the treatment of various musculoskeletal conditions to help reduce pain, ease muscle tightness and promote healing, alongside traditional physiotherapy techniques such as exercises.

Who will do it?

All our physiotherapists offering acupuncture treatment are fully qualified Acupuncture Association of Chartered Physiotherapists (AACP) members, or practitioners trained through the AACP, a body recognised by the Chartered Society of Physiotherapy (CSP).

To qualify, physiotherapists undergo a minimum of 80 hours of acupuncture training and are required to keep up with a stated minimum number of hours of continuing professional development each year in order to remain registered. 

Our Chartered physiotherapists are bound by a strict professional and ethical code of practice.

What does acupuncture involve?

Your physiotherapist will fully assess your condition including your past medical history, and if it is felt that acupuncture would be beneficial, your physiotherapist will offer acupuncture to you. The process involves the use of very fine needles which are inserted into specific points along the meridians or into the affected muscles relating to your problem (known as dry-needling).

Acupuncture should not be painful, but the desired effect is for you to feel a mild ache, warmth or heavy feeling around the area being treated once the needles are in place, this is called De Qi. Your physiotherapist may gently stimulate the needles during the treatment session in order to maintain the sensation of De Qi.

Commonly the needles will remain in place for up to 20 minutes.

What conditions can be treated with acupuncture?

Our physiotherapists are fully qualified in the use of acupuncture for pain relief for musculoskeletal conditions, such as joint pain, muscle injury or headaches. There has been a significant increase in research into acupuncture over the last few years, and the results are showing an ever increasing positive outcome.

NICE guidelines recommend the use of acupuncture in the treatment of low back pain.

How many treatments are needed?

The frequency of treatment is commonly once a week for a minimum of 6 weeks, however you may need between 6-10 sessions to achieve the best results.

Is it safe?

Acupuncture is considered to be a safe treatment technique and all techniques are performed using strict guidelines. The needles are sterile and for single use only. Mild side effects may be experienced by some patients; your physiotherapist will discuss this with you during your initial consultation.