What is Acupuncture?
Acupuncture is a method of encouraging the body to promote natural healing and to improve functioning by stimulating certain points on the body, most often with a needle penetrating the skin, to alleviate pain or to help treat various health conditions.
Traditional acupuncture is part of the ancient system of Chinese medicine which originated over 3000 years ago, based on an understanding of equilibrium and change in the natural world. It has been continually refined and developed over the centuries.
Your acupuncturist here at the Northern Integrative Health Practice in Durham will use needles which are disposable and very fine. You may feel a slight tingling sensation when the needles are inserted. Various methods of manipulating needles are used which can create subtle sensations.
In addition to needling, traditional acupuncturists also use other therapies such as cupping, moxibustion and Gua Sha. So even if you are not comfortable with needles, you can still benefit from treatment.
How does Acupuncture work?
The modern scientific explanation is that needling various points around the body stimulates the nervous system to release chemicals in the muscles, spinal cord and brain.
As a result, this stimulates the body’s natural healing abilities, and promotes physical and emotional well-being.
Chinese Medicine sees the body, mind and spirit to be connected by flows of vital energy, or Qi. When Qi flows freely we remain in good health.
As we go through life, it is common for imbalances to develop and it is these that cause feelings of a lack of vitality and may eventually lead to poor health. Traditional Acupuncture aims to re-establish the body’s equilibrium, promoting the natural healing process.
Will Acupuncture help you?
Whilst acupuncture is often associated with pain control, in the hands of a well-trained practitioner it has much broader applications.
The World Health Organization recognizes the use of acupuncture in the treatment of a wide range of medical problems, including:
- Digestive disorders: gastritis and acid reflux, spastic colon, constipation, diarrhoea
- Respiratory disorders: sinusitis, sore throat, bronchitis, asthma, recurrent chest infections
- Neurological and muscular disorders: headaches, neck pain, frozen shoulder, tennis elbow
- Urinary, menstrual and reproductive problems.
- Resolving physical problems related to tension, stress and emotional conditions
There is a growing body of evidence regarding the effectiveness of acupuncture. For example, a major study published in 2012* found acupuncture to be effective for the treatment of a range of pain conditions.
More recently, the Acupuncture Evidence Project, a review of clinical trials of acupuncture published in 2017**, found strong positive evidence of effectiveness for the following conditions:
- low back pain
- knee osteoarthritis
- post-operative pain
- migraine prevention
- allergic rhinitis
- chemotherapy induced nausea and vomiting
- post-operative nausea and vomiting
In total, some evidence of effectiveness was found for over 100 conditions, so whatever your symptoms, it is worth investigating the possibility of acupuncture treatment.
Book your Acupuncture treatment today
What patients say…
Acupuncture for knees & hips
Jill treated my knees and hips, successfully easing the pain and improving my general wellbeing.
Feeling more relaxed & happy
I have tried various treatments for my back problems since having surgery 10 years ago. I turned to acupuncture on the recommendation of a friend. The treatment was not an instant relief but after a while the relief I wanted has hopefully been found. I can walk more freely and feel as though I have had my legs restored to almost normal. This has resulted in me feeling more relaxed and happy now that I am not in constant pain.
Geoffrey P. (67), Durham.
Muscle & Joint Problems
I came to the NIHP with swollen hands and painful joints. After 2 weeks of acupuncture treatment from Jill I now have less pain. I am able to open jars and bottles a lot easier – and I can even help my wife more!
Ronald B. (76), Chester-le-Street, Durham.
I never know the needles are there
Jill is wonderful at making me feel at ease with acupuncture that I never know the needles are there. She is very calming and my treatments are a pleasure to go to. I always feel I benefit so much from them it’s fantastic and I would totally recommend Jill.
Your Acupuncturist in Durham
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*Vickers A. et al, 2012 ‘Acupuncture for Chronic Pain’ Archives of Internal Medicine 172(19)
**McDonald J, Janz S, 2017 ‘Acupuncture Evidence Project’ AACMA