What is a Medical Acupuncture?
Medical Acupuncture is an adaption of Traditional Acupuncture, sometimes referred to as "Dry Needling" and is a form pain relief which involves inserting fine needles into strategic areas of the body.
It acts by stimulating the nervous system, aiding in the release of natural chemicals such as pain relieving endorphins. Localized effects also occur around the site of the needles encouraging blood flow to the area, aiding in muscle recovery.
It is mainly used to treat musculoskeletal pain, including myofascial trigger point pain.
Why get Medical Acupuncture?
Medical Acupuncture can be an effective treatment modality for a number of musculoskeletal conditions such as: shoulder pain, rotator cuff pain, Biceps tendinitis, Iliotibial Band syndrome, Achilles tendinitis, low back pain, Tennis elbow, whiplash or neck pain, headaches, muscle strains, hip pain and temporomandibular pain, also called TMJ. Your therapist will advise you whether this is an applicable treatment for your injury.
Medical acupuncture can also be useful in dealing with muscular discomfort.
What should you expect from Medical Acupuncture?
An initial acupuncture session is usually preceded by an initial assessment and can last from 30 minutes to 1 hour. This involves an assessment of your general health, medical history and a physical examination, followed by insertion of the acupuncture needles.
During the session, you'll usually be asked to sit or lie down. You may also be asked to remove some clothes so the practitioner can access certain parts of your body. It is advised to wear clothing which allows adequate access to the area of treatment,
The needles may be inserted just under the skin, or deeper so they reach muscle. 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.
You may feel a tingling or a dull ache when the needles are inserted but you should not experience any significant pain. If you do, let your practitioner know straight away.
Rarely, some people experience mild, short-term side effects such as:
pain where the needles puncture the skin
bleeding or bruising where the needles puncture the skin
feeling dizzy or faint
worsening of pre-existing symptoms