At Jamie Bell Physiotherapy we provide specialist Acupuncture services throughout most of our clinics. Acupuncture is a specialist treatment method used to treat a variety of injuries. If you have been recommended acupuncture or feel it would be an appropriate treatment approach for your illness then give us a call and we can book you in for an assessment. A physiotherapist fully qualified in acupuncture can then complete an assessment and discuss the possibility of using acupuncture as a treatment tool for your problem.

What is acupuncture?

The needles used in acupuncture are extremely thin, approximately 25-50 times thinner than those used by doctors and nurses for immunisations. The length of the needle will depend on the body area that is to be treated; longer needles for the thigh or buttock, shorter needles for the ankle, hand and face. Each needle is sterilised and single use, so it is thrown away after each treatment session.

Acupuncture is used as a treatment method in Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) which believes illness and pain is a sign that the body is out of balance. The aim of acupuncture is to restore the body's equilibrium, focusing on all the physical, mental and emotional factors. Traditional acupuncturists believe that pain and illness exists in the body when the body's 'Qi' (vital energy, life force) is unable to flow freely. By inserting acupuncture needles into specific points in the body, the Qi can be stimulated and begin to flow freely which will restore balance and begin the body's natural healing process. Qi is characterised by a dull ache, burning, tingling sensation.

In Western Medicine acupuncture is used to treat pain as part of a pain management program. The theories behind the efficacy of treatment are quite different to those of TCM. By completing experimental investigations it is believed that the acupuncture needles stimulate the central nervous system (spinal cord, brain), activating certain pain inhibiting nerve pathways. These pathways cancel the signals which transport pain to the brain, reducing pain levels. The stimulation of these pain cancelling pathways is thought to produce an aching, burning sensation (Qi) which reduces pain levels throughout the body.

How is Acupuncture used in physiotherapy?

Acupuncture has become widely used as a treatment method in physiotherapy. It may be used alone or in conjunction with other treatment methods and is widely used in professional sports clubs, including Premiership leagues in both football and rugby.

Acupuncture sessions typically last 20-30 minutes depending on the patient's reaction to the treatment. The number of sessions required will depend on an individual responses to treatment.

If you would like to discuss your problem before booking an appointment please give our physiotherapy team a call, we will do our best to help.