Julie, Sharon & Clodagh are qualified in the use of Acupuncture and are members of the Acupuncture Association of the Chartered Physiotherapists (A.A.C.P.)
Acupuncture is one of the skills many physiotherapists use as part of our approach to the management of pain and inflammation. Physiotherapists base their treatments on scientific research and clinical evidence that Acupuncture can reduce pain by stimulating the brain and spinal cord to produce natural pain-relieving chemicals such as endorphins, melatonin (which promotes sleep) and serotonin (to promote well-being), to name but a few. These chemicals assist the body’s healing processes and offer pain relief as a precursor to other treatments such as manual therapy or exercise in order to aid recovery.
AACP members combine Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) principles with scientific evidence as a means of reducing pain and promoting healing, always with the aim of enhancing physiotherapy treatments such as exercise and rehabilitation to promote recovery and improve quality of life.
There are several techniques for applying acupuncture and these are described below:
Conventional acupuncture involves the use of single-use, pre-sterilised disposable needles of varying widths, lengths and materials that pierce the skin at the acupuncture points. The physiotherapist will determine the locations of these points on the basis of an assessment of the cause of the imbalance. A number of needles may be used during each treatment, and these are typically left in position for between 20 and 30 minutes before being removed.
Trigger point acupuncture may also be used to facilitate relaxation in specific muscles following traumas, for longer-term unresolved muscle pain, or as a means of increasing muscle length in order to aid stretch and rehabilitation. In the latter case, the needle is inserted into the affected muscle until the tissue is felt to relax under the needle, which is then removed. Trigger point needling often produces an effect much more quickly, and therefore, does not require the 20–30-minute treatment time.
The use of acupuncture needling for the treatment of pain is supported by an ever-growing body of scientific evidence.
Scientific research has examined the effectiveness of acupuncture for various conditions. In recent years large studies have begun to emerge which have helped to support the benefits of acupuncture treatment. For example it is accepted that acupuncture can help tension-type headaches and pain of osteoarthritis, for example osteoarthritis of the knee, especially when it is used in conjunction with other treatments such as physiotherapy.
Acupuncture combined with physiotherapy is widely accepted within both the National Health Service (NHS) and private practice. This is evident in the recommendation by the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) that acupuncture should be available as a cost-effective short-term treatment for persistent non-specific low back pain
Members of the AACP are required to keep up with a stated minimum number of hours of continuing professional development each year in order to remain on the register.
Julie, Sharon & Clodagh are in a unique position to combine acupuncture with other treatment methods, such as: