What is acupuncture?
It is one of the oldest forms of treatment and has been used in China for over 3000 years and there is some evidence that it have may even have been used by prehistoric man. It involves inserting fine needles into the local area where pain is experienced or away from it or both.
How acupuncture works?
In traditional Chinese medicine they believe there are channels through which energy (Chi) flows. The flow of energy should be constant in a healthy person but if you are ill or injured the energy may be reduced or increased.
Placing fine needles into these channels in special acupuncture points changes the energy flow. This aims to restore the normal flow of energy and eases your signs and symptoms, including pain. Modern science has shown that using acupuncture needles stimulates your nerves and brain to release special chemicals which act as your own natural stress and pain relievers. It also allows nerves to send messages that help to block out painful ones.
Is it safe?
All treatments carry some level of risk but research has shown that risks associated with acupuncture are small compared to the many other treatments, especially when carried out by a trained practitioner with sterile needles. Your practitioner has received special training in this type of treatment.
Can anyone receive acupuncture?
Some conditions may make you unsuitable for this type of treatment or require us to be cautious when treating you. Before the treatment the practitioner will decide if acupuncture is suitable for you after examination and assessment and then ask you to give your written consent to treatment. Please don’t skip on a meal before treatment. Let us know if you are fasting or dieting.
What it feels like?
A sharp prickling sensation may be felt as the needles are inserted and you may then feel a spreading sensation of heaviness and mild aching, which indicates that it is working. You may also see some redness or mottling on the skin around the needle site. This is normal so don’t worry. Ask us if you have any concerns. You can feel tired or refreshed after treatment so it is a good idea to avoid driving too far or doing strenuous work afterwards.
Will it work?
Acupuncture is given mainly for pain relief. It can be used for both acute and chronic injuries, arthritis, rheumatism, back and neck pain, muscle and joint problems and sports injuries. People often experience pain relief from treatment even when conventional medicine has been unsuccessful. There is nothing spiritual about it and you do not need to believe in it for it to succeed. The effects of the treatment build up as treatment progresses. It may take a few sessions before you notice some improvement. If your problem seems to get worse at first it is not always a bad sign. Tell your practitioner and they will check to see if treatment should continue. Please let your practitioner know if you experience any adverse effects during or after treatment. Ask if there is anything you do not understand and want explained in more detail.
Acupuncture is available at our Shefford clinic, prices starting at £37