What is acupuncture?
How does it work?
The needle is inserted to stimulate the sensory nerves under the skin and in the muscles, in order to encourage a reaction from the body. The body then produces natural substances such as pain-relieving endorphins.
Your acupuncturist will recommend a course of treatment best suited to helping you.
What can acupuncture help with?
It has been known to treat tension headaches, migraines, chronic pain, joint pain, dental pain, and postoperative pain.
There are many contrasting beliefs about what acupuncture can treat, and even with the same problem people have had differing results.
Where are the needles inserted?
The needles are placed into specific acupuncture points on the body. The treatment is carried out with the patient either sitting or lying.
The needles are fine and a few centimetres long. They are single-use, sterile needles.
The acupuncturist will choose the acupuncture points based on your specific condition, and the number of points depends on your symptoms. The depth of the insertion also depends on your condition, and they may be left in for up to 30 minutes.
If you feel pain when the needles are inserted, you must tell your acupuncturist immediately.
Is it safe?
When carried out by a qualified practitioner it is very safe. There can be mild, brief side effects such as feeling sick, dizzy, faint, or sleepy.
Avoid acupuncture if you have a bleeding disorder such as haemophilia, or a metal allergy. It is generally safe to have whilst pregnant but it is important to inform your acupuncturist if you are.