Acupuncture involves the insertion of fine needles into the soft tissues of the body. The western medical style of acupuncture practised at St Annes Osteopathic Centre is an adaptation of the ancient chinese practise, but replaces concepts such as ying and yang and circulation of qi with principles based on current knowledge of anatomy, physiology, and evidence based medicine. This brand of acupuncture is considered part of conventional medicine rather than a complete "alternative medical" system. Martin first studied acupuncture as part of his masters degree course and is a member of the British Medical Acupuncture Society.
Acupuncture itself is rarely painful, most patients find it a very relaxing experience. When discomfort does occur it tends to be very mild and short lived. Conditions for which there is good evidence to support the use of acupuncture include:
- Neck pain
- Tennis elbow
- Back pain
- Knee pain
- Hip pain
- Migrane and tension type headaches
- Pain caused by myofascial trigger points.
Acupuncture is mainly used as a form of pain relief and can be particularly useful where joints are too restricted to use mobilisation as a treatment, for example with advanced osteoarthritis.