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Thursday, February 12, 2015


Acupuncture is the insertion of fine needles into specific points in the body. The Chinese believe this restores the body’s natural energy called “Chi”. Chi flows along invisible channels in the body called “Meridians”. The Chinese have used acupuncture as an effective form of treatment for over 3000 years.

The Chinese believe that when we develop pain it is because the flow of energy (Chi) is interrupted along the invisible channels. The needles help to restore this energy by “unblocking” the channels. Western medicine believe that the needles stimulate the brain to release natural pain relieving substances eg endorphins, which leads to a reduction in pain.Whatever the reason is, acupuncture does appear to work in a lot of cases, and usually with a delayed effect. It may become more evident after several treatments. The needles are extremely thin and do “puncture” the skin. 

However this is usually painless or has a mild temporary discomfort. The feeling is nothing like that of receiving an injection. The needles may be “stimulated” by twirling them; this may cause a mild tingling sensation.All needles are disposable, sterile and used only once. They are left in place for a few minutes to about 20 minutes. Any discomfort must always be reported to the therapist. Side effects are minimal and rare. A feeling of relaxation and possibly drowsiness may occur. Occasionally there may be a temporary fall in blood pressure leading to a feeling of dizziness or nausea, After the first treatment you may be asked to remain for 20 minutes for observation.

Almost everyone can have acupuncture without any problems. However extra care should be taken in people who: Are pregnant; have diabetes; have a pacemaker; have any heart conditions or are on anticoagulant therapy. Others are taking steroids, are a blood donor, are allergic to any metals, have epilepsy and haemophilia, have a skin infection, are afraid of needles and have previous malignancy.

When the needle is removed minor bleeding or bruising occasionally occurs. This risk is increased in the presence of blood thinners like aspirin more than 75mg, warfarin, heparin, tinzaparin, or clopidogrel (plavix). In very rare cases where a patient may be allergic to the needles, there are disposable sterile needles with coated steel. These are unlikely to produce adverse reactions.

You may be asked to avoid using oils, perfume or after-shave prior to treatment. You may also be required to undress so, dress simply with separates. Acupuncture is unlikely to cure your pain problems. We use it to try to reduce pain in order for you to maintain or increase your activity. It is a complimentary alternative modality (CAM) that we use in conjunction with physiotherapy, biofeedback, medications, injection therapy and pain management programs. All, to relieve your pain, and give you a better quality of life.


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