Acupuncture is a system of medicine that works by examining the flow of energy around your body and using specialised techniques to improve or correct problems which have caused disorder, pain or illness. 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 conditions including pain, depression and other diseases.
We are catching onto the fact that traditional acupuncture has a proven, safe and effective role to play alongside other more mainstream health systems; it is genuinely complementary to Western medicine, often used side by side in China. Many physiotherapists and other health professionals have learned some basic techniques to improve outcomes for their patients. I worked for 4 years providing pain relief for NHS funded pain management services in Shropshire and Telford. Performed by suitably qualified practitioners, It is very safe and, unlike many conventional medicines, there are no harmful side effects.
Chinese medicine doesn't use a standardised 'prescription' for any given health condition. Instead, we use very sophisticated diagnostic tools, including pulse and tongue examination, channel palpation and case history, to find out what's causing your particular problem. This means that no two patients with a similar complaint will be treated exactly the same - each treatment is unique to you. By focusing on alleviating the 'root cause' as well as the symptom, many people find that not only their condition improves but other aspects of their health also begin to change for the better.
Practitioners such as myself have undergone many years of intensive professional and clinical training. A recognised organisation such as the British Acupuncture Council will ensure you find someone suitably qualified and properly trained.
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.