What is Acupuncture?

Acupuncture is used by Physiotherapists, against a background of sound research, evidence and their knowledge of anatomy and conditions, as a means of reducing pain via the stimulation of the brain and spinal cord to produce natural pain relieving chemicals, such as endorphins; melatonin to promote sleep and serotonin to promote well being and increased energy. These assist the body’s healing process and offer pain relief to aid rehabilitation and as an alternative to pain medication. For those unable to take pain tablets or for those who just don't want to use painkillers then acupuncture is a viable alternative. Acupuncture is known to help whether you have had symptoms for days, weeks, months or years but as with all treatments, there is no guarentee it will work for everyone.

Acupuncture has been practiced for over 3000 years, with traditional chinese medicine based on the forces of yin and yang needing balance within the body for good health. Acupuncture is used to restore this balance. It is believed that 'Qi' (energy) flows around the body in meridians to our organs and to our skin and that this flow should be balanced between the two. When injury or disease occurs the flow of Qi can be disturbed resulting in pain, inflammation, weakness or tiredness. The acupuncture needle can be inserted into specific points to promote 'Qi', helping to restore balance and reduce symptoms. Physiotherapists combine the traditional approach with western scientific evidence to use acupuncture to reduce pain and improve quality of life.




Traditional Acupuncture involves the use of very fine stainless steel, single use, pre-sterilised, disposable needles of varying widths and length that pierce the skin at the Acupuncture points. The Physiotherapist will determine the locations of the Acupuncture points, based upon the assessment. A number of needles may be used at each treatment and these are typically left in position for some 20-40 minutes before being removed.

Trigger point Acupuncture may also be used to facilitate relaxation in specific muscles, for example following trauma; for longer term unresolving muscle pain such as repetitive strain injury (RSI) or as a means to obtain increased muscle length in sports injuries . The needle is placed into the affected muscle until it is felt to relax under the needle and then removed. Trigger point needling is often a much quicker treatment.



Acupuncture is used to treat conditions that cause pain and inflammation, whether recent or long standing However, here are certain conditions that mean it shoud be applied with caution, please let us know if any of the following affect you:

  • if you have a pacemaker/electrical device

  • if you are epileptic

  • if you have a bleeding disorder or take anti coagulants

  • if you are pregnant

  • if you are allergic to metal (stainless steel)

  • if you are afraid of needles

  • if you have a known infection or weakened immune system or poor skin condition

  • if you are diabetic

  • if you have aabnormal blood pressure

  • if you feel generally unwell




Firstly an assessment will be taken from you regarding your current problem and general health. You will need to fill in a consent form for the treatment. It is advised that you have something to eat prior to the treatment, to help your blood sugar levels. The area to be treated will need to be exposed but needles may also be placed in areas away from the problem, commonly the hands and feet. The number of needles used will vary depending on the problem being treated but it is commonly between 4 and 10. The needles are inserted into the skin and will be stimulated a few times during the session by rotating them. Needles can be left in for a few minutes and up to 40 minutes. The needles will then be removed and disposed of safely. You will then be able to continue with the rest of your day as normal. Acupuncture has a cumulative effect and it can take around 3-6 sessions for improvement to be significant. Some people may respond immediately. It is generally clear after 3-4 session whether or not acupuncture will help you. It is also possible for symptoms to flare up briefly before seeing an improvement. Sessions are usually weekly but 'top up' sessions are spread further apart. Acupuncture works naturally with little or no side effects.



Acupuncture is one of many skills used by physiotherapist to relieve pain and improve movement, please get in touch today if you have any questions about acupuncture and how it may help you.

                                                            07594 758931                                                       apollophysiotherapy@yahoo.com


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Apollo Physiotherapy, 59 Fleet Avenue, Upminster, Essex, RM14 1PZ

07594 758931 ~ Email Us

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