Acupuncture is a complete system of medicine developed over the last 2000 years by the oriental cultures, which are now known as China and Japan. It involves the insertion of fine needles into various parts of the body to help "balance" subtle energies within the human body. This concept is known as Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM).
At my practice I generally use traditional acupuncture points but to help relieve musculo-skeletal pain rather than TCM for all ailments.
Acupuncture works by relaxing tight muscles through reflex mechanisms which involves the spinal cord and brain, this helps relieve pain and stiffness, it is particularly useful in osteo-arthritic (wear and tear) conditions when it is thought nothing can be done.
People are often unsure about the insertion of needles but more often than not, find it far less painful than anticipated and often dont feel the insertion. However, occasionally a point can be painful. Whilst the needles are in, people usually feel very relaxed as acupuncture causes the release of your body's own feel good chemicals called endorphins and encephalins.
At my clinic I only ever use single use only, sterile needles.
I am a member of the British Medical Acupuncture Society. Visit the British Medical Acupuncture site www.medical-acupuncture.co.uk