What is acupuncture?
Acupuncture is the insertion of thin sterile needles into the skin. Sometimes just one needle is enough for fast relief, but usual treatment consists of 5 to 20 needles inserted in to the skin and left in place for fifteen to thirty minutes.
Many people use acupuncture for pain relief, including low back pain, shoulder stiffness, knee pain, and headaches. Acupuncture is also used to treat a wide range of conditions, often in conjunction with conventional therapy.
Is acupuncture painful?
When acupuncture needles are inserted, you may feel a slight pinch, but there should not be any pain. Once the needles are in place, you may feel some warmth, tingling or mild pressure, which indicates the treatment is working and the nerves and blood flow are being stimulated.
Let the doctor know if you feel any discomfort, so she can adjust the needles.
What does acupuncture do?
From the Traditional Chinese Medicine point of view, acupuncture triggers the body’s natural healing responses by stimulating specific Acupoints in the body. These points are connected to our body’s energy channels called Meridians through which our Qi or life-energy flows.
it is proposed that acupuncture produces its effects through regulating the nervous system, thus aiding the activity of pain-killing biochemicals such as endorphins and immune system cells at specific sites in the body. In addition, studies have shown that acupuncture may alter brain chemistry by changing the release of neurotransmitters and hormones and, thus, affecting the parts of the central nervous system related to sensation and involuntary body functions, such as immune reactions and processes that regulate a person’s blood pressure, blood flow, and body temperature.*
Does my medical insurance cover acupuncture treatment?
Some UK private health insurers offer insurance cover for acupuncture treatment, including:
Please contact your insurer to find out, if your policy covers acupuncture treatments and under what conditions*. If you are covered, your insurer will reimburse the cost of your acupuncture treatment.
* GP referral may sometimes be required