Acupuncture is recognised by the World Health Organization for the treatment of a wide range of symptoms:
- Gastritis and acid reflux, spastic colon, constipation, diarrhoea
- Sinusitis, sore throat, bronchitis, asthma, recurrent chest infections
- Headaches, migraines, stress and emotions, unexplained pain
- Neck and back pain, knee, foot and ankle, frozen shoulder, tennis elbow
Acupuncture in Durham
- What is Acupuncture?
- How does Acupuncture work?
- Will Acupuncture help me?
- Things you should know
- Prices & On-going Support
Acupuncture stimulates sensory nerves under the skin, and in muscles, which triggers your body’s own natural pain-relieving endorphins. This is a perfectly normal process used by your body to deal with pain and inflammation, therefore aiding your recovery and rehabilitation from lots of different health conditions.
Your acupuncturist here at NIHP Durham will choose specific points on your body to place the needles based on your condition. The needles used are very fine, pre-sterilised and are disposed of immediately after use.
You may feel a tingling or a dull ache when they are inserted, but you should not experience any significant pain. Once the needles are in place, they may be left in position for a length of time lasting from a few minutes up to around 30 minutes.
In addition to needling, traditional acupuncturists may also apply heat and electrical stimulation, or 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.
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.
Traditional Chinese Medicine is based on the belief that an energy, or "life force", flows through the body in channels called meridians. This life force is known as Qi (pronounced "chee"). 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.
The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) currently recommends considering acupuncture as a treatment option for chronic tension-type headaches and migraines. However, 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, evidence of effectiveness was found for over 100 conditions, so whatever your symptoms, it is worth investigating the possibility of acupuncture treatment.
*Vickers A. et al, 2012 ‘Acupuncture for Chronic Pain’ Archives of Internal Medicine 172(19)
**McDonald J, Janz S, 2017 ‘Acupuncture Evidence Project’ AACMA
Before your first session there are some things you should bear in mind...
- Many commonly used acupuncture points are located on the lower arms and legs, so it is helpful to wear clothing that allows easy access to these areas.
- Try not to come for treatment on an empty stomach or straight after a heavy meal. We recommend you eat at least 2 hours before your appointment.
Your first Acupuncture consultation...
- During your first visit your acupuncturist needs to gain a thorough understanding of your main complaint/needs and your general health and lifestyle. This involves asking questions about your current symptoms and your medical history, as well as such things as your sleeping pattern, your appetite and digestion, and your emotional wellbeing. Women are also asked about their menstrual cycle and any past pregnancies and childbirth.
- You may feel that some questions appear unrelated to your condition but the information you give helps your acupuncturist form a more complete picture of your health and lifestyle. Your acupuncturist may also take your pulse on both wrists and may also examine your tongue and feel for areas of muscular tension or pain.
- You should mention any medication that you are taking and whether you have tried any other therapies.
Treatment plan and treatment...
- Based on all the information you have given, your acupuncturist will put together your treatment plan, which may include lifestyle and dietary advice.
- Your acupuncturist will use very fine needles to stimulate specific acupuncture points on your body, or a technique called moxibustion which uses a warming herb on the skin.
- Because energy meridians range across the whole body, the points used are not necessarily close to where you experience pain or discomfort. For example, if you suffer from headaches needles might be inserted in your foot or hand.
- Most people find acupuncture relaxing and often feel very calm after a treatment. You may feel a little tired or sleepy and should take this into account if you are planning to drive or use heavy machinery straight after your treatment.
- You should refrain from vigorous exercise after treatment and, ideally, give yourself a little time to rest. It is also advisable not to drink alcohol for several hours after treatment.
- Your treatment has very few side effects and any that do occur are usually mild and self-correcting. Please do not hesitate to contact your practitioner if you have any queries following treatment.
- 55.00 Assess & Treat
- 40.00 Follow-ups
Your NIHP Durham acupuncturist may recommend a certain number of treatments and exercises to do at home for the greatest benefit - and to get you back to doing what you love as soon as possible.
We are here whenever you need us. Just give us a call or drop us an email if you need to discuss anything with your acupuncturist at any time during or after your treatment plan.
Acupuncture can be used in conjunction with Bowen Technique for certain conditions. Find out more from Jill.
What patients say about us
I initially came to NIHP Durham for acupuncture while suffering from depression, stress and fatigue. The results were great after just one treatment, helping to lift my 'foggy head feeling' – making me feel calmer, more grounded and a greater clarity of mind. I now have acupuncture with Jill once a month and I really feel it keeps me in good balance. Jill is excellent at fine tuning my treatment session to any ailments at the time so that I really get the most out of my time with her.
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.
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!
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.
Jill treated my knees and hips, successfully easing the pain and improving my general wellbeing.