Western Medical Acupuncture
What is Western Medical Acupuncture and how does it work?
Western medical acupuncture involves the insertion of fine needles into the skin and underlying tissues for therapeutic or preventative purposes.
Current research shows that acupuncture works by stimulating the nerves in the skin and muscles, increasing the release of the body's natural painkillers, including serotonin and endorphins in the pathways of the brain and spinal cord. This modifies the way pain signals are received in the brain.
Acupuncture can do more than simply reduce pain, it has been shown to affect many different aspects of the body, including the nervous system and muscle tone. Many patients notice an improved sense of wellbeing following treatment.
What can we treat?
- Short-term relief of migraine headaches and tension headaches
- Short-term relief of chronic low back pain
- Short-term relief of neck pain or chronic neck pain
- Short-term relief from temporomandibular (TMD/TMJ) pain
- Temporary adjunctive treatment for osteoarthritis knee pain
How many sessions will I need?
The number of treatments varies and progress depends on the extent and duration of your injury, your general fitness, posture and stress levels. Usually the longer you have had it, the longer it takes to get better, and generally the younger you are the quicker you heal.
The majority of people need 3-8 treatments, however, progress depends on the nature of your injury and how willing you are to make any lifestyle changes that we discuss. Once you’re up and running, you can choose to schedule regular check-ups a few times a year to keep chronic conditions under control.
What can I expect from my first visit?
Every patient's case is assessed by the practitioner and treatment will be tailored to their individual needs. A typical treatment involves a consultation about your general health and presenting condition.
Allow an hour for your first visit. We ask you to complete a few details on a patient record card. During your consultation we will discuss your general health and medical history, your symptoms and lifestyle. With your permission, we will carry out an examination of your joints and muscles (which may include neurological and orthopaedic tests where necessary).
We will also check for signs of any serious conditions for which you would need specialist advice. In some instances, we may need to ask you to remove some clothing. Privacy and a gown are always provided, you may prefer to bring shorts, but do tell us if you feel uncomfortable about undressing.
We discuss what we consider to be the underlying problem behind your symptoms and a treatment plan is agreed. In most cases you will receive a treatment at your first visit. Treatment is very much a partnership between the practitioner and the patient. If at any point we discover or suspect a condition that requires medical intervention, we will refer you to your GP for further tests.
Once consent is given, fine needles are inserted through the skin and left in position for a 5-20 minutes. The number of needles varies, but may be only two or three. Treatment might be once or twice a week initially, then at longer intervals as the condition responds.
How will I feel after my treatment?
Patient's frequently report an enhanced feeling of well-being, feeling revitalised, more positive and relaxed after treatment. You may feel some immediate relief or occassionally tiredness, particularly after your first session. We will give you advice on aftercare and any necessary lifestyle changes to help you get the most out of your care. It is important that you talk to your Acupuncturist if you have any concerns about anything either during or after treatment.