The benefits of acupuncture have been appreciated since its development in China thousands of years ago. Many people turn to acupuncture as it is seen as a holistic and natural therapy which can be used alongside conventional treatments provided, for example, by your GP.
Acupuncture can be beneficial in the treatment of a wide range of conditions. It involves the insertion of fine needles into the skin to relieve pain, symptoms, and to promote wellbeing. I practice Medical, or Western, Acupuncture, which is an approach used by registered healthcare professionals, based on the scientific understanding of how acupuncture exerts its effects on the body.
More information on conditions treated can be found here, and I am happy to be contacted to discuss your particular health needs. See Questions if you would like further information on the difference between medical and traditional approaches to acupuncture. The British Medical Acupuncture Society and the British Acupuncture Council also have further information for patients.
Dry needling is an important component of Medical Acupuncture. It is an effective treatment for certain types of muscle pain caused by the presence of trigger points which are tender points or 'knots' formed in muscle tissue due to trauma or overuse injuries.
These trigger points can refer pain to elsewhere in the body causing pain over a widespread area. They are recognised by many clinicians to be one of the most common causes of pain and dysfunction in the muscoskeletal system.
Acupuncture needles are inserted into the trigger points and stimulated to cause the muscle tissue to relax, which in turn can reduce or eliminate pain.
Auriculotherapy or Ear Acupuncture involves the insertion of tiny needles into the skin covering the ear. Ear acupuncture is used in traditional acupuncture but modern auriculotherapy was actually developed by a French doctor in the 1950s. It was found that different areas of the ear correspond to different areas of the body, and by needling specific areas on the ear, a beneficial effect could be made on the corresponding part of the body. For example, knee pain can be treated by inserting needles into the area of the ear that corresponds to the knee, instead of inserting them around the knee itself.
The relationship between the ear and the rest of the body has been demonstrated using medical scans in the previous few years. I have found this technique to be useful in helping to manage more complex issues, or to help clients who prefer very gentle needling.