Acupuncture is a system of medicine that works by examining the flow of energy around your body and using ancient techniques to improve and correct problems leading to disorders or illness. it is one of the most widely accepted forms of complementary medicine and used increasingly all over the world. Having stood the test of time for over 2000 years, there is a growing body of recognized scientific evidence to support its' use for many disorders, including pain, depression and other diseases - click on this link to find out more.
We are catching onto the fact that traditional acupuncture has a proven, safe and effective role to play alongside other more mainstream health services - I used to deliver pain management services for NHS patients. Done by suitably qualified acupuncturists, it is very safe and, unlike many conventional medicines such as painkillers, there are no harmful side effects.
Chinese medicine doesn't work in the same way as a western approach in using a particular 'prescription' for a particular health condition. Instead, we use a very sophisticated system of diagnosis to understand what is causing your particular problem, involving pulses, tongue diagnosis, other signs and symptoms and case history - you are unique and no two cases of any complaint will be treated the same. Practitioners such as myself have undergone many years of intensive professional and clinical training. Many physiotherapists, G.P's, midwives and other health professionals have also learned some basic techniques to improve outcomes for their patients. You may want to check that any practitioner you choose is suitable qualified and meets approved standards of practice and safety. Membership of an approved professional body such as the British Acupuncture Council is a good indication of this.
The word 'needle' can be misleading. Those used for acupuncture are as fine as a cats whisker and generally don't go further in than half their length - a lot of people barely feel them once they're in, just a gentle awareness of some warmth or tingling sensation.