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At body balance we are passionate about health
We take a holistic ‘hands on’ approach to deliver the results you need to achieve total Body Balance.

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Medical Acupuncture

Medical acupuncture is a procedure where a very thin filament needle is inserted in to the skin and muscle targeting myofascial trigger points specifically. More commonly known as ‘knots’. Medical Acupuncture Dry Needling are umbrella terms for this method of acupuncture. Traditional Chinese Acupuncture is a different practice and based on eastern philosophies.

 

Myofascial trigger points/ knots, are often a result of Imbalance between the nerves and muscle communication system. Breakdown in this pathway is thought to be the primary contributing factor to the symptoms. People often confuse the feeling of knots as tightness. Despite the small number of contraction knots, these invariably occur in weaker muscles that often need strengthening!

 

How does it work?

 

We know from research that by inserting a needle into the painful areas of a muscle, that it causes a bio-chemical change and then reduces pain. When the needle is inserted the practitioner is looking for what is called a ‘Local Twitch Response or LTR’.

 

Here is an example of a local twitch response elicited by palpation. A needle could be used here for example. By needling it allows for a longer more sustained twitch response.

What type of problems can be treated?

Medical acupuncture is commonly used for a wide variety of musculoskeletal problems. Imbalance between nerves and muscles communication system are thought to be the primary contributing factor to the symptoms.

Such conditions include:

  • Neck, back and shoulder pain, arm pain such as tennis elbow, carpal tunnel and golfer’s elbow.
  • Headaches, including migraines and tension-type headaches.
  • Jaw pain.
  • Buttock pain and leg pain including sciatica, hamstrings strains, calf tightness/spasms.

Does acupuncture hurt?

It is often and understandably thought that acupuncture could be painful. Actually, the insertion of the needle is not necessarily painful due to the thin and solid structure. An acupuncture needles is very different to the type used with injections; needle which is much thicker and hollow.

The local twitch response elicits a very brief (less than a second) painful response. Some patients describe this as a little electrical shock; others feel it more like a cramping sensation.

 

Are there any side effects?

Mild soreness is common after acupuncture, as it is following some osteopathic treatment. The soreness is commonly described as ‘muscle soreness’ over the area treated and into the areas where the symptoms are found. Typically, the soreness lasts between a few hours and two days.

Will other treatments be used at the same time?

We mainly use medical acupuncture as an adjunct to osteopathy. However, during the initial acute phase of injury where pain levels are too high for hands-on treatment, medical acupuncture could be the perfect treatment choice, in order to break the pain cycle. Once that is achieved, other treatments can be introduced.

Once the dysfunction or imbalance has been corrected our aim is to ensure the body will maintain the appropriate balance. However, the musculoskeletal system is under constant stress from the demands of varying postures, gravity, psychological and emotional states etc.

A regular exercise programme combined with good advice and rehabilitation prevent many problems. If the pain comes back, occasional sessions are sometimes (not always) recommended.