What is Acupuncture?
Firstly, it is important to understand that there are two types of acupuncture, ‘traditional’ and ‘western medical’, often known as ‘dry needling’. However, here at the Cotswold Physiotherapy Centre we use western medical acupuncture. You may ask, “what’s the difference?”.
Traditional Acupuncture is a complementary medical technique rooted in traditional Chinese medicine. Therefore, this treatment focuses on stimulating certain points on the body to alter the flow of Qi (pronounced “chee”), using a needle to penetrate the skin. Traditional acupuncturists believe that when Qi does not flow freely through the body it causes illness. Consequently, they believe acupuncture can restore the flow of Qi, therefore restoring health.
Western Medical Acupuncture is a technique used by physiotherapists and medical practitioners. A needle is inserted into the skin to stimulate nerves under the skin and in the muscles. The result is the body produces natural pain relieving substances, including endorphins. Furthermore, evidence supports that dry needling improves pain control, reduces muscle tension and normalises nerve impulses. In conclusion, this can help speed up the patient’s return to active rehab.
How Acupuncture can help you
We use acupuncture with the goals of addressing neuromuscular conditions, relieving pain, and improving range of motion.
NICE (National Institute for Health and Care Excellence) recommends considering acupuncture as a treatment for:
- chronic tension-type headaches
It is also used to treat musculoskeletal conditions (of the bones and muscles) and pain, including:
- chronic pain, such as neck pain
- joint pain
- dental pain
- post-operative pain
- muscle and joint pain
- sports injuries
What to expect from your appointment
Your first acupuncture session will last approximately 30 minutes. First of all, we assess your general health and medical history before using needles. Treatment often involves several separate sessions, but this is dependant on your condition. Therefore, we offer a variety of appointment lengths.
During your session, you’ll usually be asked to sit or lie down. You may also be asked to remove some clothes so the practitioner can access certain parts of your body.
Needles are inserted into specific places on the body, called acupuncture points. They are very fine and only a few centimetres long. Importantly, needles are single-use, pre-sterilised, and disposed of immediately after use.
Your physio will choose specific points to place the needles, based on your condition. Several points may be used during a typical session, depending on the number of symptoms you have.
Needles may be inserted just under the skin, or deeper, so they reach muscle. Once the needles are in place, they may be left in position for a length of time lasting from a few minutes up to around 30 minutes.
Our Fantastic and Fully Qualified Team
Here at Cotswold Physiotherapy Centre we have some of the very best Acupuncturists in Cheltenham and Gloucestershire. So, we thought we really should tell you a little bit more about them. We don’t let just anyone deliver this therapy, it’s vital that all of our team delivering treatments are fully trained and certified. If you would like to see the full bio for our team, check out the Team Page.