What is Acupuncture?

acupuncture hand

Acupuncture is used, where appropriate by some of our physiotherapists to help control pain, usually as an adjunct to an exercise plan. Acupuncture can reduce pain by stimulating the brain and spinal cord to produce natural pain-relieving chemicals.

Acupuncture is a traditional Chinese medicine. Western medicine has adapted the concept for use in rehabilitation

On diagnosis, your physiotherapist will determine the best acupuncture points to use, and a number of needles may be used during each session. The session usually lasts 15 to 20 minutes. The needles are single use sterile needles and they are very fine.

How safe is acupuncture?

When administered in the NHS, Acupuncture is performed by trained professionals. Our physiotherapists have undergone a degree in physiotherapy (or equivalent) before acupuncture training at postgraduate level.

Acupuncture needles

Practitioners are required to regularly update their clinical skills through a programme of continuing professional development. They are regulated by the Health Professions Council and are bound by a strict professional and ethical code.

In the NHS, acupuncture is administered in safe clean surroundings. The needles  single use, individually packaged and sterile. Used needles are disposed of in containers, which are destroyed by incineration.

There are some conditions and situations where acupuncture may not be appropriate. This is why you will have a thorough verbal and physical assessment before treatment is discussed and agreed. During assessment the physiotherapist is ensuring that any treatment offered is safe for your condition, taking into consideration all other aspects of your general health.

How many sessions of acupuncture can I have?

This depends on your individual condition and will be agreed with your physiotherapist. When acupuncture is deemed appropriate your physiotherapist will prescribe a short course of treatment sessions. This is  to help you to do your exercises. Acupuncture is rarely offered as a treatment by itself.

Back to treatments available Community outpatient physiotherapy home