Acupuncture involves the penetration of the skin with needles to stimulate specific points throughout the body. In its classical form it is part of ancient Traditional Chinese Medicine. However more and more scientific research has highlighted the positive physiological response of the body to the needle and western acupuncture focuses on the current knowledge of anatomy, physiology and pathology to help with pain.
Acupuncture acts mainly by stimulating the nervous system (the system responsible for the perception of pain). Through this stimulation, acupuncture generates a 'competing' stimulus to that of pain and effectively interrupts the pain signals from reaching the brain; this is known as the 'pain gate theory'. Acupuncture has also been proven to increase the body's levels of endorphins (natural painkillers), anti-inflammatorys, anti-bodys and serotonin (a feel good hormone). Another positive effect acupuncture has on the body is that it improves circulation and so floods the injured area with new red and white blood cells -helping to create a faster healing process.
Acupuncture is recommended in the NICE (National Institute of Clinical Excellence) guidelines for the treatment of headaches and certain types of shoulder pain. It is also recommended in the POGP (Pelvic Obstetric and Gynaecological Physiotherapy) guidelines for the management of pelvic girdle pain.
At Physiofit we combine TCM principles with scientific evidence as a means of reducing pain and promoting health and healing; always with the aim of enhancing more traditional physiotherapy treatments such as manual therapy and rehabilitation exercises to promote recovery. We use single use, pre-sterilised disposable needles. Our physiotherapist, Suzie Crellin, who offers acupuncture is a member of the AACP (Acupuncture Association of Chartered Physiotherapists).
There are several techniques for applying acupuncture and these are described below:
- Conventional acupuncture: Conventional acupuncture involves the use of 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 dysfunction. 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. It is common practice to stimulate these needles by twisting them every few minutes.
- Trigger Point Acupuncture: Trigger point acupuncture may also be used to facilitate muscle relaxation, for longer-term unresolved muscle pain, or as a means of increasing muscle length in order to aid rehabilitation. With trigger point acupuncture 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.
- Acupressure: In acupressure treatment, physiotherapists use their hands to activate acupuncture or trigger points in order to relieve muscle tightness, or to stimulate Qi flow and balance the body. It is a healing art in which the fingers are applied to key acupuncture points. The amount of pressure used varies according to the condition and requires trained, sensitive hands. It is often used to treat patients who are frail, those with a phobia of needles and children.
Initial remote appointment
(45-60 min) £48.00
Follow up remote appointment
(up to 30 min) £35.00
Initial face to face appointment
(45-60 min) £52.00
Follow up face to face appointment
(up to 30 min) £38.00
(45-60 min) £60.00
Follow up appointment
(up to 30 min) £44.00
25 minutes - £28.00
80 - 90 minutes - £120.00
Missed appointments and appointments cancelled with less than 24 hours notice may be charged.
Physiofit Chartered Physiotherapists offer professional assessment, treatment and rehabilitation of a range of injuries and conditions. We have links with local GP surgeries and liaise with other consultants and specialists to provide the best pathway of care for each individual.