Golf, tennis, pulling up weeds in the back garden – summer’s here now and we all want to get outside, whatever our idea of fun is. Any activities like these can lead to pulled muscles and injured joints, but instead of reaching for the painkillers, have you considered acupuncture for pain relief?
I’m a member of the Acupuncture Association of Chartered Physiotherapists and I often use acupuncture to relieve pain for my patients in Petersfield and Liphook for anything from tennis elbow and Achilles tendinopathy to a gardener’s lower back pain and relieving muscle spasm.
Acupuncture can also be particularly helpful in treatment of osteoarthritis for pain relief.
The two schools of acupuncture
The Chinese have used acupuncture for thousands of years to treat anything from infertility and pain to menopause symptoms and skin conditions. I use a combination of Traditional Chinese and Western acupuncture.
- Traditional acupuncture
Traditional Chinese acupuncture is based on the belief that an energy, or “life force” called Qi (pronounced “chee”) flows through the body along channels called meridians.
Traditional practitioners believe that when energy doesn’t flow freely it can cause pain. They also believe that acupuncture can restore health by getting your Qi flowing again through stimulating it at certain points along the meridians.
- Western acupuncture
The western method uses acupuncture after a medical diagnosis. It’s based on evidence that inserting a fine needle can stimulate nerves under the skin and in muscle tissue. Studies also show that acupuncture points display significantly more electrical conductivity than other areas of skin.
The body is stimulated to produce pain-relieving substances, such as endorphins which are probably responsible for any beneficial effects from this form of acupuncture.
The use of acupuncture in China has been documented for 2000 years and some believe it’s been around for twice as long, which would be an awfully long time if it didn’t offer some benefits.
So if you’ve overdone it on the tennis court, on the fairway or in the back garden, get your Qi flowing again and give your local acupuncturist a call.