Acupuncture has gained increasing popularity in the western world since the 1950's due to the development of diagnostic equipment that enables researchers to 'visualise' its effects. Acupuncture is one of the many skills employed within physiotherapy as part of an integrated approach to treat pain and inflammation. Most western medical acupuncture is based on an understanding that the insertion of needles has an effect on nerves, which can release muscles and over-ride brain signals. There can be chemical changes in body fluids associated with treatment, which has been demonstrated with experimentation on animals to see how various hormones and neurotransmitters are affected by inserting needles in specific areas or points. There are a number of research publications demonstrating the treatment effectiveness of acupuncture when compared to (chemical) medication.
Each condition must be assessed individually but the effects of acupuncture can often be significant after just one session. From the literature & clinical experience, acupuncture has a cumulative effect, so a course of treatment is recommended for maximum benefit to be gained. Prior to starting treatment your physiotherapist will screen your medical health to make sure acupuncture is right for you.
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