Acupuncture stimulates the nerves in skin and muscle, and can produce a variety of effects. We know that it increases the body’s release of natural painkillers – endorphin and serotonin – in the pain pathways of both the spinal cord and the brain. This modifies the way pain signals are received.
As we learn more about this type of treatment, the possibilities of using acupuncture alongside orthodox medicine increase. The distinction between complementary or alternative medicine and conventional medicine is becoming blurred as acupuncture is accepted in medicine. Acupuncture is already available in most hospital pain clinics and it is provided by an ever-increasing number of GPs and hospital doctors.
WHAT SORT OF CONDITIONS RESPOND TO ACUPUNCTURE?
• Acupuncture is effective in a range of painful conditions and is commonly used for short-term relief of chronic low back pain and neck pain, and can help with knee pain caused by osteoarthritis;
• There is good evidence that it is effective in the short term relief of tension type headaches and migraine, and of temporomandibular (jaw joint) pain;
• Short term improvements in the symptoms of overactive bladder syndrome;
• It also has been found effective in other forms of chronic pain such as neuralgia and cancer pain.
This is not a complete list and other conditions have been treated with acupuncture. You can find more comprehensive list of conditions which have been continuously updated based on the most recent research here.
Two of our osteopaths, Alan and Stephanie are fully qualified practitioners in medical acupuncture. This particular type of acupuncture is distinct from traditional Chinese acupuncture in that a conventional medical diagnosis is made and needles are used to influence the patient’s physiology according to a conventional scientific view. Acupuncture can be used either as a stand alone treatment or in conjunction with osteopathic techniques to reduce pain and decrease the tenderness in muscles, it can also lead to feelings of calm and wellbeing.