Acupuncture 2017-10-05T09:53:01+00:00

Acupuncture

How does it work?

Acupuncture likely works by stimulating the central nervous system (the brain and spinal cord) to release chemicals called neurotransmitters and hormones such as endorphins, our body’s natural pain relieving hormones, thereby enhancing the immune system and regulating various body functions.

Acupuncture provides a fast effective route to pain relief, through the use of fine needles inserted into trigger points in muscles. The needles penetrate deep into knots of muscles, to relieve tension and increase blood flow to the region. They can hit stubborn knots with precision, even when the source of pain seems to be buried so deep as to be inaccessible to massage. Relaxing these trigger points can release long held pain. Because of their exact anatomical location on nerve pathways, they can also reach the roots of referred pain in, for example, whiplash or tension headaches.

Acupuncture is not the treatment – it is only part of the treatment and is commonly used as an adjunct to osteopathy to ensure maximum healing potential.

I offer Acupuncture in Amersham, Chesham, Beaconsfield and Chalfont St Peter Clinics

Want to learn more about medical acupuncture? We look in more detail below at

What to expect in a medical acupuncture appointment

Medical acupuncture is practised alongside osteopathy at the practice although can be used as a standalone treatment (please do call to discuss your case).  You will be assessed by your practitioner who may decide that acupuncture would be beneficial for you, or you may request to be treated using acupuncture.

After taking your medical history and examining you, fine sterile needles are inserted through the skin and left in position.  Sometimes they may be turned gently to enhance their effect.  The number of needles varies according to the situation, but may be only two or three.

Is it hygienic?

Yes, only sterile, single-use, disposable needles will be used.

Is it safe?

In the right hands, acupuncture is very safe. Minor side effects can include small bruises, or discomfort in the area needled. Sometimes people can feel drowsy or faint after a treatment. More serious side effects occur in fewer than 1 in 10,000 treatments.

Of the few reported cases of serious complications, almost all were caused by non-sterile needles (causing viral infections), or poor technique in positioning the needles. As qualified practitioners we understand the risk factors. We only ever use single-use, sterile disposable needles, and we practice safe needling techniques as taught by the British Medical Acupuncture Society. We also ask about your general health before we start, to make sure there’s nothing in your medical history that might cause a problem.

We need to know if you carry any blood borne viruses (such as HIV, Hepatitis B or C), if you have any heart valve defects, if you have had a strong reaction to acupuncture in the past, or if you have a pacemaker or any other electrical implant.

Does Acupuncture hurt?

More often than not acupuncture is almost completely painless. The needles used for acupuncture are very fine indeed, with a diameter as small as 0.2mm- almost like a hair. The needles are sterilised and never used more than once so they remain incredibly sharp- hence almost no pain as they pass through the skin. In experienced hands, acupuncture is extremely safe.

What if I don’t like needles?

Then our osteopaths will use alternatives such as acupressure or trigger point massage. This may not produce as much or as quick an improvement as with intramuscular acupuncture but these are still very effective techniques.

What to expect in a medical acupuncture appointment

Medical acupuncture is normally practised alongside osteopathy but in some cases can be used in a stand alone treatment (please call the clinic to discuss your case) .  You will be assessed by your practitioner who may decide that acupuncture would be beneficial for you, or you may request to be treated using acupuncture.

After taking your medical history and examining you, fine sterile needles are inserted through the skin and left in position.  Sometimes they may be turned gently to enhance their effect.  The number of needles varies according to the situation, but may be only two or three.

Does it hurt?

Sometimes not at all, sometimes a little.

People sometimes imagine that acupuncture needles are like those used to give injections. In fact, they are much finer – so fine that they pass between skin nerve endings. This means that most of the time there is so little sensation that you may not even know the needle has been put in or taken out.

Many patients feel relaxed once the needles have gone in, and the worst you are likely to experience is a short period of discomfort. Some points produce a dull, heavy feeling, others an ache, others a tingling feeling. If very tense muscles are being treated, you may feel a stronger discomfort or muscle twitch. Very occasionally, people feel faint during a treatment.

As part of our training, we’ve been needled hundreds of times. We won’t needle any points on you that we haven’t had demonstrated on us – so you can be sure we know exactly what it feels like!

Things you need to tell your practitioner before a medical acupuncture appointment

Make sure you inform the practitioner of the following before undergoing acupuncture treatment:

  • if you have ever fainted, had a fit or experienced a ‘funny turn’

  • if you have a bleeding disorder (haemophilia).

  • if you have damaged heart valves or a particular risk of infection.

  • if you have a pacemaker or any other implants of an electrical nature.

  • if you are taking anti-coagulants or any kind of medication.

  • if you carry any blood borne viruses (such as HIV, Hepatitis B or C).

  • if you have had a strong reaction to acupuncture in the past.

Are there any side effects of medical acupuncture?

Acupuncture is very safe.  Serious side effects are very rare – less than 1 per 10,000 treatments.

Many people find acupuncture deeply relaxing.  Drowsiness occurs after treatment in a small number of patients, and, if affected, you are advised not to drive.

There is a slight possibility of minor bleeding or bruising after the insertion of acupuncture needles.

Some people do faint during treatment but this is very rare.

How is Medical Acupuncture different from Chinese Acupuncture?

When a needle hits the right spot, there is usually a muscle twitch in response. It is important to distinguish here between Medical Acupuncture and Chinese Acupuncture. This clinic offers Medical Acupuncture based on modern medical science, and practiced only by those doctors and other qualified health professionals who have undertaken postgraduate training. Chinese Acupuncture works with Chi or Qi, in meridians, and diagnosis involves meridians, and has very little to do with western medicine.

The difference to the patient is that a small number of very fine needles are inserted deep and directly into the muscles rather than just under the skin. In Chinese Acupuncture, there are usually more needles and they are just under the skin, and not only into muscle tissue.  Medical Acupuncture practitioners are skilled at finding exact trigger points with a high degree of precision.  If you have tried Chinese Acucpunture without success, it may be that

© 2013 Bucksosteopathy & Physiothrapy  23 Long Park Amersham, HP6 5LA  & 62a Packhorse Road Gerrards Cross, SL9 8EF Sarah Gill & Associates Registered Osteopath & Acupuncture serving the areas of Amersham, Chesham , Beaconsfield , Hazlemere , Chalfont St Peter Osteopath for Pain, Sports Children Babies Cranial Osteopath New Osteopath & Physiotherapy clinic in Gerrards Cross , Amersham Osteopath – Osteopath Amersham, Sports Injury Clinic Amersham – Physiotherapy Amersham – Physiotherapy Gerrards Cross