Acupuncture and physiotherapy
Blog post by Helen Moore BSc MCSP MAACP, Senior Chartered Physiotherapist
Our senior physiotherapist, Helen Moore, is a qualified acupuncturist with the AACP (Acupuncture Association of Chartered Physiotherapists). In this post, she explains how acupuncture can be used effectively within the physiotherapy management of our clients:
Acupuncture can be used within physiotherapy to help with the management of pain and inflammation. It is one of the many skills used by physiotherapists to help restore normal function and can be used to treat several musculoskeletal conditions. It involves the insertion of fine needles into specific points of the body.
It has been used for thousands of years as part of Traditional Chinese Medicine and more recently since the 1970’s in Western Medicine. Traditional Chinese belief is that energy flows freely throughout the body, via channels. When there is a problem the energy stagnates, and acupuncture can be used to stimulate the flow of energy in the body. This helps to restore the healthy flow of energy in the body and return it back to its balanced state of health. In order to achieve this balance the forces commonly referred to as the YIN and YANG are stimulated during acupuncture treatment by inserting acupuncture needles into the specific channels. The aim of acupuncture is to therefore restore all body systems to a state of balance and facilitate the body’s return to a state of health both physically and mentally.
Physiotherapists use acupuncture against a background of research and medicine based on the western scientific perspective. Acupuncture has been shown to stimulate the brain to produce natural pain-relieving chemicals known as endorphins. These assist the body’s healing process and also offer pain relief to aid recovery and enhance rehabilitation. The use of acupuncture enhances the repair mechanism and enables an improved recovery time. This allows other physiotherapy treatments such as exercise, muscle strengthening and rehabilitation to achieve more effective results.
Acupuncture can be used on its own or in combination with other physiotherapy treatments to treat a range of conditions including:
- Back pain and sciatica
- Migraine and headache
- Muscular and joint pain
- Whiplash injury and neck pain
To establish whether acupuncture is an appropriate form of treatment an accurate medical history is taken, and symptoms are discussed thoroughly. The selection of points used is made based on the condition and presentation of symptoms. These can be inserted close to the area or away from it, in some cases on the opposite side of the body. Acupuncture is not a suitable treatment for everyone as some medical conditions may prevent it.
Needles are normally left in place for up to 30 minutes however the initial treatment may be shorter in order to guage response to treatment. It can vary depending on the condition and symptoms.
Depending on response to treatment the number of sessions can vary. Some people respond more quickly than others while some require a longer course of treatment before the cumulative benefits are felt. People with more chronic conditions may require more treatment. It is usual to have acupuncture performed on a weekly basis to improve the outcome.
If you would like more information, or to book in for an acupuncture session, contact us on 07919411845, email email@example.com, or you can book online via the website!
A great resource, including further information about the evidence behind the use of acupuncture, is the AACP website: