At Compass Muscle Therapy we offer medical acupuncture.
Medical acupuncture is a modern adaption of the ancient
Chinese practice of acupuncture. It is defined as a therapeutic technique that involves the insertion of fine needles into certain points across the body to encourage healing and pain relief.
How is medical acupuncture different from Chinese acupuncture?
The main difference between medical acupuncture and traditional Chinese acupuncture is that the ancient beliefs of ‘yin’, ‘yang’, and the energy ‘qi’ is substituted for a combined knowledge of physiology and pathology, anatomy, and the common principals of evidence based medicine.
Medical acupuncture is used by healthcare practitioners and is generally regarded as part of conventional medicine. The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) specifically recommends the use of acupuncture for lower back pain1.
Is it hygienic?
Only sterile, single-use, disposable needles are used.
Does it hurt?
The needles are very fine, so it will not feel like having an injection, which use needles with a cutting edge. The feeling vary from person to person. Some people won’tfeel a thing where others may feel a slight sharpness.
You may also feel a muscle twitch
Things you need to tell your therapist before medical acupuncture
You will be asked to fill out a consultation form before any treatment. You must inform your therapist of any of the following before undergoing acupuncture treatment:
If you are pregnant or trying to become pregnant
Do you have a history of blood disorders?
Do you have any allergies or sensitivities or specific metal allergies?
Have you ever suffered any fits/epilepsy?
Do you have diabetes?
If you suffer from any heart conditions
Do you have a pacemaker or electrical implants?
If you give blood
If you are taking anti-coagulants or any kind of medication.
If you have ever fainted
Side effects of medical acupuncture
Do not drive straight after your first appointment as you may feel drowsy.
Some people do faint during treatment but this is very rare.
There is a slight possibility of minor bleeding or bruising after the insertion of acupuncture needles.
Existing symptoms can get worse after treatment (less that 3% of patients).
Pain during treatment occurs in about 1% of treatments
Does it really work?
There have been a number of studies looking into the validity and benefits of acupuncture as an accepted form of medical practice.
One popular contention is that acupuncture only appears to work by inducing a placebo effect. A placebo effect is what happens when a person believes they have been treated. Recovery and pain relief is thought to happen as a result of this sense of belief and expectation. However, one study published in the NeuroImage journal claims to have found scientific evidence that acupuncture does in fact have a direct effect on the body.
1National Institue for Health and Clinical Excellence (2009) Low back pain, Early management of persistent non-specific low back pain
Researchers at Southampton University and University College London used PET scans to monitor what was happening in the brains of 14 participants during three separate ‘interventions’.
In the first intervention, the participants were prodded lightly with blunt needles and informed that the needles would not penetrate the skin or hold any therapeutic value.
In the second intervention, the participants were prodded with specially designed false needles that telescoped in on themselves upon contact with the skin, in the same way a stage dagger does. However, the patients were told that the needles would penetrate the skin, and that the treatment would hold therapeutic value.
The third intervention involved the insertion of real acupuncture needles into traditional acupuncture points.
The results of the PET scan showed significant differences in brain activity during each separate intervention.
During the first intervention when the participants knew they were not having needles inserted in them, the area of the brain associated with the sensation of touch became active.
During the second intervention when the participants thought they were having needles inserted in them, the area associated with pain relief became active.
During the third intervention when the participants were having needles inserted in them, the area associated with pain relief became active, but interestingly, so did another part. This region of the brain is known as the insular, thought to be involved in the judgement of pain.
These results do suggest that medical acupuncture can affect the body beyond the placebo effect. However, many experts still demand further research and you are encouraged to discuss acupuncture with your GP before deciding on it as a course of treatment.
We normally combine our dry needle/acupuncture with massage as we find they compliment each other well.
Price (from Jan 2019)
60 Minute Treatment – £44.00
45 Minute Treatment – £38.50