Comprehensive General Practice, Allied and Complementary Healthcare
Medical acupuncture - Dr Peter Ryder and Dr Jay Phang
What is acupuncture?
Acupuncture is a method of treatment which forms part of the ancient and complete system of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM.) The use of acupuncture needles made of bone and stone goes back into Chinese prehistory, whilst the extensive theoretical basis of TCM including the acupuncture meridians was codified and written down over 2000 years ago.
This system of medicine is still in use today with a continuous lineage of experience and written commentary to inform diagnosis and treatment. Properly considered its treatments include not only acupuncture but also complex herbal medicine, diet, physical therapies of massage and manipulation and exercised such as qigong and Tai qi
Acupuncture may be used to manage a range of conditions including pain, stress and fatigue, either as a sole treatment or as a part of a treatment plan. Acupuncture may assist with the management of:
Pain relief and Management
Acute and chronic pain from sports injuries
The Effects of Acupuncture treatment
In western medicine terms acupuncture has predictable and proven physiological effects. These include the release of beneficial substances by the nervous and immune systems (natural opiates and endorphins) that lead to pain relief and relaxation, immune enhancement and anti-inflammatory effects. Some of these effects may be whole body due to release of these substances into the bloodstream and some may be local to the treated area.
What to expect as a patient?
For the patient needling usually produces little if any pain and instead an odd numbness or heaviness is produced. It is not unusual to feel quite relaxed and ‘spaced’ by the treatment. Usually no more than 10 needles are used and needles are left in place for 15-30 minutes at the most. Acupuncture is generally considered to be safe but occasionally (as with all medical treatments) may be associated with possible adverse reactions in individual cases.
Initial appointments are allocated 30 to 40 minutes to allow for discussion, assessment and treatment. Further treatments are booked for 15-20 minutes; several visits may be needed for a course of treatment.