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What is Acupuncture?
Acupuncture is one of the many skills employed within Physiotherapy as part of an integrated approach to the management of pain and inflammation. Physiotherapists base their treatments on scientific research and clinical evidence that Acupuncture can reduce pain by stimulating the brain and spinal cord to produce natural pain-relieving chemicals such as endorphins, melatonin (which promotes sleep) and serotonin (to promote well-being), to name but a few. These chemicals assist the body’s healing processes and offer pain relief as a precursor to other treatments such as manual therapy or exercise in order to aid recovery.
Acupuncture forms part of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM). This ancient system of medicine dates back as far as 1000 years BC and is based on a holistic concept of treatment which regards ill health as a manifestation of imbalance in the body’s energy. Re-establishing a correct balance is the aim of TCM. Energy is referred to as Qi, (pronounced chee) and is described in terms of Yin energy – quiet and calm and Yang energy –vigorous and exciting. They are complementary opposites and in health exist in a dynamic but balanced state in the body. Practitioners of TCM believe that stimulating certain Acupuncture points on the body can help to restore the balance between Yin and Yang that becomes altered in illness.
How can Acupuncture help me?
The use of acupuncture needling for the treatment of pain is supported by an ever-growing body of scientific evidence.
Scientific research has examined the effectiveness of acupuncture for various conditions. In recent years large studies have begun to emerge which have helped to support the benefits of acupuncture treatment. For example it is accepted that acupuncture can help tension-type headaches and pain of osteoarthritis, especially when it is used in conjunction with other physiotherapy treatments.
Acupuncture within Physiotherapy
AACP (Acupuncture Association of Chartered Physiotherapists) members combine TCM principles with scientific evidence as a means of reducing pain and promoting healing, always with the aim of enhancing physiotherapy treatments such as exercise and rehabilitation techniques to promote recovery and improve quality of life.
As members of the AACP physiotherapists undertake a responsibility to themselves and their patients, which is that they must be sure from the outset of their treatment that the principles of safe, hygienic insertion of needles and subsequent disposal are adhered to at all times.
Full (accredited) membership of AACP is granted only on evidence that a physiotherapist has completed at least 300 hours of theoretical and practical training and assessments on courses approved by the Association.
All members have to give evidence of 10 hours continuing professional development (CPD) every 2 years in order to maintain their membership status. The supervision of the education register enables AACP, together with the Chartered Society of Physiotherapy (CSP) and the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC), to maintain the necessary high standards of practice.
All AACP members are covered by comprehensive professional liability insurance.
At Progressive Physiotherapy Ltd in Wantage a number of our Physiotherapists are AACP registered and offer Acupuncture as part of Physiotherapy treatment when appropriate, following a comprehensive Initial Assessment.