Welcome to Physio & More for acupuncture in Kingston upon Thames.
About Acupuncture in Kingston
What is Acupuncture?
Acupuncture, or the placing of needles in the body to treat certain conditions, is an ancient therapy which we are now beginning to understand through scientific research.
Needling the skin and muscle stimulates local nerves which, in turn, leads to the release of a number of substances within the area that dilate blood vessels, helping to increase local blood flow at a superficial or deeper level, depending on the depth of insertion of the needle. This increased blood flow may encourage tissue healing.
People are often surprised and even skeptical when they see acupuncture needles inserted at distances to the area being treated. The reason for this is that acupuncture has been shown to inhibit pain at a spinal level. Therefore if an area of the leg shares a common nerve root with an area of the back and/or internal organs, needling that part of the leg can, for example, enhance the treatment of pain in the corresponding region of the back or internal organs. In fact, there is some overlap with adjacent segments and the nerves, which goes some way to explaining why some segmental effects appear to be slightly ‘out of area’.
Once nerve signals reach the spinal column, they go up to the brainstem, where they are able to stimulate the body’s own natural pain-reducing messengers throughout the body, giving an gentle, additional boost to the pain-reducing properties of acupuncture.
Central Regulatory Effects
Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) has given us a window into the effects of acupuncture on the brain. Whilst our understanding of the significance of the images is still in its infancy, it does go some way to explaining the general calming effect of acupuncture and the improved sense of well being experienced by many who have treatment. There is also some suggestion that this may be the mechanism by which acupuncture appears to influence some hormones in the body. This may explain why acupuncture appears to help with menstrual problems, as well as reducing stress levels.
Myofascial Trigger Points
We all have tight small knots in our muscles, some of which cause us no problems at all. Others can create pain in a part of the body some distance from the trigger point, which leads to restricted movement. Fortunately, these referred pain patterns are quite often predictable and a short course of needling the myofascial trigger point can bring about a sometimes quite dramatic relief of the pain and movement restriction.
Evidence Base For Acupuncture
Headache and Migraine
Recent National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) published a paper recommending acupuncture as a preventative treatment for headache and migraine with or without medicine-induced headaches
Lower Back Pain
In May 2009, NICE recommended a maximum of 10 acupuncture sessions over up to 12 weeks for the treatment of lower back pain.
Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS)
Research conducted by Dr Elizabeth Stener-Victorin, University of Gothenberg, Sweden, suggests that low frequency electroacupuncture may help improve menstrual frequency in women who have PCOS. The effects of the electroacupuncture also seem to have comparable effects to exercise with regard to improving insulin sensitivity, whilst manual acupuncture appears to have a greater effect on glucose tolerance. This has led Stener-Victorin to develop a protocol which combines manual and electroacupuncture which aims to improve menstrual frequency and other health parameters associated with PCOS.