At Michael Squirrell Physiotherapy and Sports Injury Clinic, Harley St, we make effective use of alternative therapies to help us provide you with holistic health care. Acupuncture treatments complement physiotherapy treatments in that they promote all round health and stimulate healing. We treat many painful musculoskeletal and arthritic conditions as well as skin conditions, stress, anxiety, addiction and weight loss using Acupuncture.
What is Acupuncture?
How does Acupuncture work?
What can be treated with Acupuncture?
How many treatments will I need?
Is Acupuncture painful?
Are there any side effects?
Medical Acupuncture, Chinese, Japanese or Dry Needling all use acupuncture needles to stimulate specific points in the body and work by effective stimulation to induce a focused and rapid response for the body to heal itself. Results may be felt rapidly but more often the reactions are sustained over a long period. A mild electrical current or gentle manipulation of the needles is used to provide additional stimulation of the points to produce a more urgent response.
The classical Chinese explanation is that channels of energy (Qi) run in regular patterns through the body and over its surface. These energy channels, called meridians, are like rivers flowing through the body to irrigate and nourish the tissues. An obstruction in the movement of these energy rivers is like a dam that backs up the flow in one part of the body and restricts it in others. Needling the acupuncture points can influence the meridians; the acupuncture needles unblock the obstructions and re-establish the regular flow through the meridians. Acupuncture treatment can help the body’s internal organs to correct imbalances in digestion, absorption, and energy
The modern scientific explanation is that needling in the acupuncture points stimulates the nervous system to release endorphins and other chemicals in the muscles, spinal cord, and brain. These chemicals either change the experience of pain or trigger the release of other substances and hormones, which influence the body’s internal regulating system. The improved energy and biochemical balance produced by acupuncture results in stimulation of the body’s natural healing abilities.
Acupuncture is often associated with pain control, but has much wider applications.
The World Health Organization recognises the use of acupuncture in the treatment of over 40 medical problems, including:
- Digestive disorders: reflux, indigestion, gastritis and hyper-acidity, irritable bowel syndrome, spastic colon, constipation, diarrhoea.
- Respiratory disorders: allergies, sinusitis, sore throat, bronchitis, asthma, recurrent chest infections.
- Neurological and muscular disorders: fibromyalgia, headaches, facial tics, neck pain, rib neuritis, frozen shoulder, tennis elbow, carpal tunnel and other forms of tendonitis, low back pain, sciatica, osteoarthritis, sports injuries.
- Urinary, menstrual, and reproductive problems including infertility, pelvic, sacral and coccyx pain
- Psycho-Emotional & Neurological Disorders: Depression, Anxiety, Panic Disorders, Addiction, Insomnia, Migraines and Tension Headaches, Trigeminal Neuralgia, Fertility and conception Disorders, Prenatal and Post-partum care, PMS, Menstrual Disorders & Menopausal symptoms.
Acupuncture is particularly useful in resolving physical problems related to tension, stress and emotional conditions.
The number of treatments needed varies from person to person. For chronic conditions, weekly treatment is usual until a good response is achieved. This may take 6 to 8 treatments, but sometimes longer treatment may be necessary. Once there is no further improvement, treatment intervals will be spaced further apart to maintain the benefit. For acute problems fewer visits are usually necessary.
Most patients feel minimal pain as the needles are inserted; many feel no pain at all. Once the needles are in place, there may be a mild ache in the area. Acupuncture needles are very thin and are made from stainless steel. The point is smooth and insertion through the skin is not painful. There is minimal risk of bruising or skin irritation.
As internal chemicals and hormones are stimulated and healing begins to take place the original symptoms may increase for a few days with general changes in appetite, sleep, bowel, urinary patterns or emotional state.