Everything you need to know about what acupuncture is and the types of conditions it can be effective in treating.
What is acupuncture?
Western medical acupuncture involves the insertion of fine needles at certain points on the body for therapeutic or preventative purposes following a medical diagnosis.
The insertion of needles stimulates sensory nerves under the skin and in the muscles resulting in the body producing natural substances such as pain-relieving endorphins. It's likely that these naturally released substances are responsible for the beneficial effects experienced with acupuncture.
What conditions can acupuncture be effective in treating?
Acupuncture can be an effective treatment in providing:
Short-term relief of tension type headaches
Short-term relief of migraine headache
Short-term relief of chronic low back pain
Short-term relief of neck pain or chronic neck pain
Short-term relief from temporomandibular (TMD/TMJ) pain
Temporary adjunctive treatment for osteoarthritis knee pain
Is acupuncture safe?
When carried out by a qualified practitioner acupuncture is generally very safe, however a minority of patients do experience some mild, short-lived side effects such as:
Mild pain, bleeding or bruising where the needles puncture the skin
Feeling drowsy, sick, dizzy or faint
Worsening of pre-existing symptoms