01322 275 402
West Hill Physiotherapy, Tower Road, Dartford, Kent, DA1 2EU [See map]
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Acupuncture has been used within the physiotherapy profession for some years now and is often used as an isolated treatment or in combination with other treatments to aid pain relief and accelerate the healing process.

Acupuncture involves the insertion of very fine, stainless steel needles (normally 0.25-0.30 millimetres in diameter) into very specific points in the body. It is thought that during the insertion of the needle, pain receptors are stimulated which causes a release of endorphins (your body�s own natural pain killers). It has also been suggested that the needle causes a relaxation of the muscle tissue it is inserted into thereby improving circulation.

Acupuncture treatment is only ever offered following a comprehensive examination and exercises and advice are always given afterwards to compliment the effects of the treatment.

There are two types of acupuncture technique which are offered here at the clinic:

Traditional acupuncture

This form of acupuncture follows the traditional Chinese medicine model (TCM) whereby acupuncture needles are inserted in very specific areas of the body along specific energy channels called meridian lines. The Chinese theory is based on the idea that energy in the body is carried in the blood and that the flow of this energy should be free-flowing in order to maintain good health and well-being. Turbulence to the flow of this energy can be caused by pathogens such as too much damp, cold, or heat which causes a stagnation of blood flow and energy. When this occurs in the body, pain or illness can arise.

When TCM acupuncture is used several needles may be inserted in the body along certain meridian lines in order to remove the blockage in that energy channel. Normally the needles are left in the body for 15-20 minutes before being removed and a short course of treatment sessions are required. A typical course of acupuncture may require 4-6 treatment sessions. If there has not been any significant improvement in pain within two to three sessions then the acupuncture is usually stopped and an alternative treatment may be offered.

Trigger point acupuncture (dry needling)

Trigger points are painful areas of contracted muscle tissue which can cause pain locally or can refer pain away from the area to another part of the body. Trigger points may arise in response to trauma such as following a fracture, sports injury, a fall, whiplash, through postural overload, stress and repetitive overuse.

Trigger points are diagnosed by palpation and are identified as taut painful bands or knots in the muscle. Treatment with acupuncture normally only involves inserting a single needle into the trigger point and stimulating the needle until the muscle is felt to release. When this occurs, the muscle involuntarily twitches and is thought to be due to a spinal reflex as the muscle fibres are stretched by the needle. Once the muscle has released the needle is removed and disposed of. The effect of trigger point acupuncture is usually felt immediately after the treatment and the treated area can feel a little sore and ache for a couple of days afterwards. This is a normal physiological response to the treatment where the acupuncture causes a small inflammatory response in the treated area. This small inflammatory response is useful as it initiates the healing process.

For more information or to book an appointment please call 01322 275 402 or email info@westhillphysio.co.uk. Alternatively please feel free to complete the form below.
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