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What is Medical Acupuncture?

Acupuncture is a medical technique used to treat a wide variety of conditions.
The technique is generally known for the process of inserting very fine, solid, metallic needles into the body through the skin. The needles can be left in place for varying periods of time and can also be manipulated by hand or electrical stimulation.

Medical Acupuncture vs Traditional Chinese Acupuncture (TCA)

The western medical acupuncture approach is an adaptation of Chinese acupuncture using current knowledge of anatomy, physiology and pathology, and the principles of evidence based medicine. While Western medical acupuncture has evolved from Chinese acupuncture, its practitioners no longer adhere to concepts such as Yin/Yang and circulation of qi, and regard acupuncture as part of conventional medicine rather than a complete "alternative medical system".

Since being introduced to the west back in the 1970's these acupuncture techniques continue to be studied and scrutinised by western scientific and medical communities for its place in modern medicine.

Is Medical Acupuncture The Same As Dry Needling?

Medical acupuncture may be considered an ‘umbrella’ term which describes the use of needling in a western medical context. When using medical acupuncture to treat myofascial trigger points this may be descriptively referred to as ‘dry needling’. Sometimes the terms medical acupuncture and dry needling are used interchangeably.

Medical Acupuncture Use in Modern Medicine

Acupuncture is provided by an ever-increasing number of medical professionals in private and hospital clinics.

It is used by physiotherapists and doctors in an orthodox medical setting, having made a medical diagnosis first. The extensive medical training of doctors and physios play a vital role in establishing the effectiveness and safety of acupuncture use as one of many therapeutic tools in the treatment of a range of defined conditions.

Acupuncture is a powerful therapy and is generally considered safer than most conventional treatments. Serious adverse effects can happen if it is used without due care. Acupuncture should only be used by trained practitioners who can adequately assess the risks and benefits of applying the therapy to specific medical conditions.

Benefits of Medical Acupuncture

Current research shows that it has an influence on most of the body's systems - the nervous system, circulation, muscle tone, hormone outputs, antibody production and allergic responses, and the respiratory, urinary, digestive and reproductive systems.

As an effective painkiller - Acupuncture stimulates the nerves in skin and muscle and increases the body's release of endorphin and serotonin (natural painkillers) in the pain pathways of the spinal cord and the brain.

Treatments

Acupuncture is therefore commonly used to treat musculoskeletal pain such as

  • back pain
  • shoulder pain
  • neck and leg pain

It is also successfully used to treat

  • headaches
  • migraines
  • trapped nerves
  • chronic muscle strains
  • different types of sport injuries
  • arthritic and rheumatic pain

bmasOur Chartered Physiotherapists use a western medical acupuncture approach, trained and registered with a professional body known as the British Medical Acupuncture Society (BMAS).

BMAS members are subject to a Code of Practice and Complaints Procedure in addition to meeting the requirements of the statutory regulatory body for Physiotherapy.

Our Mount Merrion Physiotherapy clinic has gained an accomplished reputation for its advanced integration of medical acupuncture with Physiotherapy techniques.


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