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Medical Acupuncture

Medical acupuncture is a therapeutic technique that involves inserting fine needles into certain points across the body to encourage healing and pain relief. Also referred to as ‘western acupuncture’, the practice differs from the ancient Chinese practice it derives from. Whilst still using needles to stimulate the body’s natural healing abilities, it doesn’t adhere to the concepts of Qi or yin/yang, as followed in Chinese acupuncture.

Medical acupuncture can be used for a wide range of health conditions, but the most common reason to try medical acupuncture is for pain relief. A course of acupuncture usually creates longer lasting pain relief than when a single treatment is used.

The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) which provides guidelines for the NHS on the use of treatments and the care of patients, currently recommends acupuncture as a treatment for chronic tension-type headaches and migraines.

Other conditions commonly treated by acupuncture, though not officially recognised by NICE, include –

  • Chronic pain such as neck or back pain
  • Joint pain
  • Postoperative pain
Needling specific body parts is thought to stimulate sensory nerves under the skin and in the muscles of the body. This results in the body producing natural substances, such as pain-relieving endorphins. It is thought that these naturally released substances are responsible for the beneficial effects experienced with acupuncture.