Medical or Western Acupuncture – Is it for you?

Have you ever thought of having acupuncture but are not quite sure about it?  There are so many benefits to this type of treatment and if you know what to expect, it will be a walk in the park. 

What is medical or western acupuncture and what are the benefits?

western acupuncture barnet

Medical acupuncture is also known as western acupuncture and incorporates dry needling. It is based on based on up-to-date knowledge of anatomy, physiology and pathology. It is used to treat musculoskeletal pain and assist / stimulate the healing mechanism of the body to treat injuries and dysfunctions.

Medical acupuncture is different from Chinese acupuncture, which is based on traditional Chinese medicine and concepts.

The process involves the insertion of a sterile acupuncture needle, placed in specific areas of the body to treat a variety of dysfunctions, such as tennis elbow.  In other instances, the acupuncture needle is placed in a trigger point and the process is then described as dry needling. A trigger point is basically known as a muscle knot that creates pain in other areas of the body.

Medical acupuncture is taught to GPs, nurses, chiropractors, osteopaths, physiotherapists and dentists. Members of the British Medical Acupuncture Society are regulated healthcare professionals who practice acupuncture within the scope of their professional practice and have received extensive training.

As a registered osteopath, I use western acupuncture when appropriate for my patients and only with their informed consent. If someone has for example fear of needles or is not comfortable with it or is not suitable to receive acupuncture treatment, I will not use this technique.

I find that acupuncture is a very good adjunct to osteopathic treatments and rehabilitation.

–          It has helped many of my patients deal with pain and the lack of sleep and anxiety associated with it. In other words, many patients have slept better, had less pain and felt calmer following acupuncture treatments. As a result, they had an increased chance to recover faster from their injuries as most of the healing mechanisms are stimulated at night. Indeed, it has been shown that acupuncture has central effects. These encompass analgesia and pain perception modification, which ultimately improve the patient’s sleep quality and resolve anxiety. Acupuncture also has a local effect on pain.

–          Additionally, many of my patients felt that the use of acupuncture in addition to the treatment resulted in long lasting beneficial effects on their various ailments. Indeed, acupuncture has local effects, such as the local release of endorphins resulting in decrease of local pain and stimulation of specific fibres, which in turn produce local vasodilatation and affect local immune responses. In other words, acupuncture stimulates healing and blood flow which also enhance healing of the local tissues.

Adding acupuncture to my treatments has allowed my patients:

  • To sleep better
  • Feel less anxious
  • Decrease their pain
  • Increase blood flow and enhance local immune response so they heal faster
  • Realign the muscle fibres properly so that muscles function better
  • Very good results for active trigger points

Most of my patients really like it and look forward to it. Some are less keen but they acknowledge that it works in many instances. Here are some common conditions that I treat using acupuncture:

Tennis elbow
Sciatica
Prolapsed discs
Achilles tendinitis
Cervicogenic headaches
Muscle spasm all over the body (e.g. tight neck, tight back, tight hamstrings)
Arthritic joints, hip OA, knee OA
Musculoskeletal pain
Golfers elbow
Carpal tunnel
Impingement syndrome
Thoracic outlet syndrome
Frozen shoulder
Trapped nerves…..

Would you like to try acupuncture? Book in for your visit today and we can chat about whether it will be the right treatment for you.