What is acupuncture?

Acupuncture involves the insertion of very fine needles into the skin. It is an ancient Chinese treatment that has been adopted and adapted by Western Medicine.

It is used to treat a wide variety of common health problems and to reduce pain.

Acupuncture can be combined with other physiotherapy treatments such as exercise, manual therapy, and soft tissue therapy.

Acupuncture carried out by your physiotherapist meets strict criteria and standards set by the Acupuncture Association of Chartered Physiotherapists.

What happens during an acupuncture session with my physiotherapist?

When you first see your physiotherapist, he or she will take a full medical history from you and ask you about your current health conditions. Your physiotherapist will explain the benefits and risks of any treatment and give you written information for you to take away and read. If you decide that you would like to try acupuncture you will be asked to complete a consent form with the help of your physiotherapist.

Between 1 and 10 needles will be used in a session. The number used will vary according to your condition and symptoms.

The needles will be inserted into the skin and left in for a few minutes and up to 30 minutes depending on your condition. The needles are as fine as human hair so having acupuncture does not feel the same as having an injection. When the needle is inserted you may feel a temporary, sharp prick sensation.

During the treatment your physiotherapist may stimulate the needles by gently rotating them in order to increase the effects of the treatment.

How does acupuncture work?

Acupuncture reduces pain by stimulating the brain and spinal cord to produce natural pain-relieving chemicals such as endorphins, melatonin (which promotes sleep), and serotonin. These chemicals assist the body’s natural healing process and offer pain relief so that patients are more able to engage in exercise plans and manual therapy sessions.

Is acupuncture safe?

Acupuncture is a very safe procedure when carried out be a fully trained professional. Your AACP Physiotherapist is qualified to deliver this therapy and has undergone a recognised training course in acupuncture.

The needles used are sterile and single use.

Are there any side effects to acupuncture?

Any side effects are normally mild and short-lived. These include tiredness, light headedness, minor bleeding or bruising around the needle insertion site. If you continue to feel tired following treatment then you should not drive or operate machinery. If you suffer from any prolonged side affects you should contact your Physiotherapist.