What is acupuncture?
Acupuncture is a treatment for pain relief, originating from China. It has been practiced for over 2000 years for a wide range of conditions: improving fertility, treating anxiety, relief from headaches and musculoskeletal pain relief. It has increasing use in western medicine and is commonly used alongside other physiotherapy treatments for pain relief and to reduce muscle tightness.
An acupuncture treatment stimulates the body to produce pain relieving and stress-relieving chemicals, such as endorphins, oxytocin and serotonin. It can also promote better sleep health due to the increased release of melatonin. The effects of the treatment can help reduce sensitivity to pain in all areas of the body. Acupuncture is particularly effective in the treatment of headaches and migraines.
What to expect from an acupuncture treatment?
Acupuncture uses very fine needles and should not be painful. A sharp scratch can be felt as the needle is inserted and a dull ache, numbness, warmth or tingling may be felt during the treatment. Often the needles are not felt at all.
Treatments vary depending on the individual and the condition being treated. They can range from a few seconds to 30 minutes and typically use 1 to 10 needles. A course of 6-10 treatments is usually recommended, however some people may only need one or two sessions. It is usually clear after 3 sessions if acupuncture will be effective for you. For optimal outcomes it is used in conjunction with other treatments during your physiotherapy appointment at Flawless Physio.
What’s the difference between acupuncture and dry needling?
These two treatments are very similar. They both use the very fine steal needles and can use the same points on the body. Acupuncture, as explained above, is a treatment that has been used for thousands of years, dry needling is relatively new. Acupuncture typically uses specific points along the meridian lines of the body which come from the Chinese medicine. With dry needling the therapist does not use these set meridian points but finds areas of tightness or tender points, sometimes referred to as trigger points, within a muscle. Treatment duration varies, acupuncture typically being longer treatment sessions lasting from 10-30 minutes and dry needling is often a few seconds to a minute or two.
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