According to the British Acupuncture Council acupuncture can provide pain relief by stimulating nerves and by causing the release of endorphins. It can reduce inflammation, improve muscle stiffness and improve joint mobility. Acupuncture can help to reduces the use of medication for back complaints, and can improve outcomes when combined with traditional rehabilitation exercise. Read More.
Acupuncture and acupressure treatment can be used to support clients experiencing pain in a number of different areas of the body. Please get in touch to discuss your situation if you are experiencing any of the following:
“Back pain can affect anyone at any age and most people will suffer from it at some point in their lives. It is the UK’s leading cause of disability and one of the main reasons for work-related sickness absence.”
– British Acupuncture Council
The following description is illustrative of some common ways that I approach this work. I will always adapt my treatment plan in accord with my findings and always with your consent.
I start with an assessment to determine the cause of your pain. In most cases my treatment strategy will be the similar regardless of where the pain is being experienced. In the case of back pain for example, I am likely to start with some cupping or guasha over the painful area before moving on to applying acupuncture and tuina-massage techniques. In some cases, I will divide treatment time between acupuncture and tuina-massage, but may also apply them simultaneously.
Cupping involves using flame to create a vacuum within small glass cups that are then quickly applied to your skin so that they stick in place. Guasha involves using a round edged tool to rub across the surface of your skin. Both of these techniques are great for relaxing muscles and stimulating the flow of blood and qi in the areas where they are applied.
Once the channels and muscles are more relaxed, I move on to applying gentle acupressure massage techniques to warm the muscles and become familiar with areas that will need work. Then, when the body is more open and relaxed, I can apply deeper and stronger techniques that allow me to work into acupressure points, release muscles, tendons and ligaments, and stimulate qi and blood. Finally, I apply techniques to break up and dissipate the stagnation and pathogenic qi that has been released during treatment. I commonly also apply warming or cooling oils to the muscles depending on the diagnosis that I have made.
When treating back pain, I will stimulate points close to where your pain is being experienced as well as points further away that have been identified as having a therapeutic effect on the problem area. I will also identify areas of knotting and stagnation that require specific attention and apply needles at these points too. These needles may be retained for anywhere from 10 to 20 minutes.
If called for, we have the option of attaching an electro-stimulation device to specifically placed needles in order to more strongly move blood and qi.
Tai Chi and Qigong provide a gentle physical exercise which medical studies have shown to be beneficial for the health of the heart, bones, nerves, muscles, and immune system. They are a great way to support your acupuncture and tuina-massage treatments.