Medical acupuncture is a form of acupuncture that is solely based upon scientifically proven methods and results. It is a system of acupuncture devised by medical doctors in the West. They could see that traditional (or Chinese) acupuncture had some benefits on patients they were seeing, but were dubious about claims that were being made and wanted to find proper medical evidence about how it worked and on what conditions.
Clinical trials were (and still are being) undertaken including MRI scans of patients brain changes and assessment of results against other treatment methods.
How is medical acupuncture different to Chinese acupuncture?
A medical acupuncturist makes a medical diagnosis in the conventional way, and uses needles to influence the physiology of the body according to scientific view. Acupuncture is seen as a conventional treatment alongside drugs, surgery or whatever else the patient requires. A ‘ traditional’ acupuncturist makes a diagnosis in terms of disturbance in the body’s balance which is then corrected with needles.
How does medical acupuncture work?
In very simple terms, it works on the nervous system by distracting the brain. For example, have you ever hurt yourself but didn’t notice because you were engrossed in something else, such as playing sport? Well, acupuncture works in the same way – it confuses the signals sent to the brain so that it no longer feels, or is less bothered by pain. Incidentally, this is exactly the same process that drugs such as ibuprofen and paracetamol work on, but without the side effects of drugs.
How safe is acupuncture?
Very safe in skilled hands and with safe practice. At Corsham Physiotherapy we have a stringent clinical waste policy, and only use single use sterile high quality needles. We always stay with you throughout your treatment.
What conditions can it treat?
It can be helpful in many conditions but the best known are:
- neck and back pain
- facial pain
- irritable bowel syndrome
- hay fever
- skin conditions
What happens in a session?
A small amount of very fine needles will be inserted into the skin, and left for a short period of time. As the practitioner assesses your response, in future sessions the needles may be moved around or an electrical current placed through them for greater effect.