Western medical acupuncture is a therapeutic modality involving the insertion of fine needles; it is an adaptation of Chinese acupuncture using current knowledge of anatomy, physiology and pathology, and the principles of evidence based medicine.
The Chinese have been using acupuncture for thousands of years after discovering that needling influences different functions of the body. Since then, the effects of acupuncture have been studied in much more detail in order to understand how and why they occur. This has led to the development of Western acupuncture.
Western acupuncture differs from traditional acupuncture in that it does not rely on the traditional concepts of Yin and Yang and the circulation of “qi”.
How does it work?
The main effects of needling come through stimulation of the nervous system. There are also effects that occur due to increased local blood flow, release of opioid peptides and serotonin as well as inhibitory effects on pain signals travelling around the needled area.
What does it feel like?
The needles we use at North West Physiotherapy Keperra are extremely fine, meaning that typically all you feel is a slight pin prick as the needle is inserted. Occasionally there will be a slight twitch of the muscle if a trigger point has been targeted, but this usually resolves immediately.
When is it used?
Western acupuncture and dry needling can be used as a complement to your normal physiotherapy treatment. Some conditions that typically respond well to this form of treatment are:
- Muscular trigger points
- Tennis elbow
- Cervicogenic headaches
- Painful, swollen joints
To be able to provide patients with needling services, our physiotherapists have completed further training in the field and are required to stay current on the latest advances in treatment techniques.
All needles are single-use and are disposed of immediately after use.