Acupuncture is a treatment designed to relieve pain, derived from Ancient Chinese medicine. Your practitioner will insert a number of fine needles into your body, leading to the therapeutic release of pain. In the western medical tradition acupuncture is usually considered a complementary or alternative form of medicine.
When the needles are inserted you will not feel pain, as they are extremely thin. But they will stimulate your nerves, encouraging your body to produce natural substances including pain-relieving endorphins.
It is likely that is these naturally occurring substances that are responsible for any pain relief you experience after undergoing the acupuncture treatment. Undergoing a course of acupuncture, as opposed to a single treatment, is usually most effective at producing pain relief.
The traditional ideas that surround acupuncture are rooted in the belief that an energy known as Qi (pronounced ‘chee’) flows through the body in channels called meridians. Qi is said to be a life force containing healing properties.
Practitioners of acupuncture use the technique to treat a wide range of health conditions. However, the use of acupuncture is rarely based on strong scientific evidence. The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence provides helpful guidelines for the use of acupuncture in the care of patients.
Consult with your doctor for advice before undergoing a course of acupuncture.