What Is Acupuncture?
Acupuncture involves penetrating the skin with needles to stimulate specific points of the body. There are over 700 recognised acupuncture points spread throughout the body. This complementary technique is available at our Belfast clinic and is used both as, a stand-alone treatment and in conjunction with other treatment techniques. All our therapists our members of the Acupuncture Association of Chartered Physiotherapists.
Aim Of Acupuncture
Acupuncture can be used for various reasons, some of the most common are:
- Pain relief
- Increased speed of healing
- Increase flexibility / tissue length
- Increase relaxation
How Acupncture Works
At Belfast Back Care and Physiotherapy Centre we commonly use three separate acupuncture techniques;
- Traditional Chinese Acupuncture: This theory believes that the body holds a ‘vital energy’ or ‘life force’ called ‘Chi’ or ‘de qi’ which travels in meridians through the body. If this gets blocked or stuck it results in injury or disease and acupuncture can be used to correct this.
- Western Scientific Acupuncture: This is by far the most common technique used at the clinic as it is based around scientifically proven research. Acupuncture is proven to stimulate the body’s natural release of chemicals and hormones used in the healing process and also over-ride the pain signal coming from that area.
- Trigger Point Acupuncture: Also known as dry needling, this technique involves using the needle to loosen or lengthen the tissue it is placed into. It works really well to get rid of knots which can form in muscles. We commonly use this technique in association with other techniques like massage.
Who Can benefit From Acupuncture?
On your first appointment your therapist will follow an assessment to make sure it is suitable and safe to perform. The World Health Organisation created a list of over 300 conditions which acupuncture has been shown to respond well for. This is not a definitive list and new research is always evolving. A sample of the most common conditions includes:
- Arthritis including osteo and rheumatoid arthritis
- Muscle problems
- Tendonitis including tennis elbow, golfer’s elbow and achillies tendonitis
- Back pain
- Neck pain including whiplash
- Headache / migraine
- Joint problems
- Sleep problems
- Stress / tension