Updated: Mar 8
At Falcon Health, we are devoted to ensuring that we get you back to full health. We appreciate that sometimes, you need more than just a chiropractor. Hence, our team will always be sure to recommend the best treatment for you to help your recovery.
One such treatment is acupuncture. Acupuncture practitioners – sometimes called acupuncturists – use acupuncture to treat a wide range of health conditions. This includes everything from pain relief to helping with fertility issues. If we believe that it is necessary, we will suggest seeking acupuncture, as well as a chiropractor or physiotherapist as part of your treatment.
What is Acupuncture?
Acupuncture is a form of traditional Chinese medicine that has been used for centuries. It involves the use of needles to stimulate specific points on the body. Acupuncture can be used to treat a variety of conditions, including pain, allergies, asthma and digestive issues.
While acupuncture involves the use of needles, they are very thin and do not feel like a standard medical needle. The needles are usually left in place for approximately ten minutes. Some may leave a small mark that goes away within a day or two, but others don't leave a mark at all. Most people find acupuncture is a relaxing experience that helps them feel calmer, less stressed, and healthier overall.
Acupuncture increases circulation and energy flow throughout the body by stimulating certain pressure points on the body. Qi (pronounce "chee") is said to be responsible for a variety of physical and emotional functions. Acupuncture is used to restore the balance of Qi in the body. Acupuncture is not a cure-all, but it can be a helpful treatment for a variety of conditions. Much like a chiropractor, acupuncture takes a holistic view of an injury or pain point, and looks to combat the root of the problem.
Uses of Acupuncture
The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) recommends considering acupuncture as a treatment for the following ailments.
- Chronic Pain
- Chronic Tension Headaches
- Joint Pain
- Dental Pain
- Postoperative Pain
However, you must be careful when looking for acupuncture care, as the effectiveness of acupuncture on other treatments is currently unclear. NICE recommends a thorough investigation of a patient's condition and a well thought out treatment plan before acupuncture is used as a form of treatment. Whilst this can be conducted by a chiropractor or physiotherapist, we will likely recommend consulting a healthcare professional such as a doctor.
How Acupuncture is Performed
An initial consultation will generally last between 20 minutes to an hour. They will involve an assessment of your general health, medical history, a physical examination and then the insertion of acupuncture needles.
During the session, you will be asked to sit or lie down. Additionally, the acupuncturist may request that some clothes are removed. This is completely normal and is done to allow your acupuncturist to reach the correct points in your body. Depending on your symptoms, acupuncturists will choose specific points to target. They may also target multiple points, but all of this will be necessary in aiding your recovery and restoring your Qi.
The needles are inserted into specific places on the body, which practitioners call acupuncture points. These points are believed to be connected to certain organs or systems in the body. The needles will be inserted a fraction of a millimetre in a direction at a right angle to the skin, and then a slight vibration or a twirling sensation will be felt as the needle is manipulated. Most people find that acupuncture is a painless treatment.
The needles may be inserted just under the skin, or deeper so they reach muscle. This will depend on the acupuncture points that are being targeted. The needles will be inserted a fraction of a millimetre in a direction at a right angle to the skin. Once the needles are in place, they may be left in position for a length of time lasting from a few minutes up to around 30 minutes. This will depend on your condition and the acupuncture points that are being targeted. During this time, you are free to relax and allow the treatment to take effect.
You should not experience any intense pain. You may feel a slight, dull tingling as the needles are inserted, but if significant pain continues, let your acupuncture practitioner know straight away.
Things to Consider
You should check the acupuncture practitioner is either a regulated healthcare professional such as a doctor, nurse, physiotherapist, a chiropractor, or an accredited member of a national acupuncture organisation. This will ensure that they have the necessary training and experience to provide a safe and effective treatment.
You can find an accredited register of acupuncture practitioners on the Professional Standards Authority for Health and Social Care website. This will ensure that you are choosing a practitioner who is qualified and experienced in providing acupuncture treatment.
When your treatment is undertaken by a qualified practitioner, acupuncture is a safe procedure. In some cases, people may experience mild, short-term side effects, including:
- Bleeding or bruising from needle punctures
- Feeling sick
- Worsening of pre-existing symptoms
If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, discuss it with your acupuncturist or another healthcare professional. This should give you peace of mind that you are getting the right treatment for you.
Acupuncture is usually not advised if you have an allergy to metals or an infection in the area where needles must be inserted. Additionally, bleeding disorders such as haemophilia require consultation with your GP first.
Acupuncture is generally safe whilst pregnant, however it is paramount to inform your acupuncture practitioner that you are pregnant as some areas must be avoided!
Is Acupuncture for You?
Whilst some people are hesitant about acupuncture, when done correctly, it is safe and can provide multiple health benefits. Consulting a healthcare professional such as a doctor, nurse, chiropractor or physiotherapist can ensure that you get plenty of information ahead of your treatment.
Acupuncture's holistic view and balancing Qi is much like that of a chiropractor. Both disciplines consider the root of problems and will look to heal that rather than just an injury or ailment itself. This can also help you, as a patient, adopt a holistic view and potentially discover alterations to your lifestyle or mindset that can help you deal with pain and injuries.
If you require any of our services and would like to book a session with a chiropractor or physiotherapist, book online today. Alternatively, contact us on 01444 257555 or email us on email@example.com more information.
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