Western medical acupuncture (often known as dry needling) is an adaptation of traditional Chinese acupuncture incorporating current “evidenced based” medical knowledge. It is commonly practiced in the UK by osteopaths, physiotherapists, chiropractors and GP’s.
Acupuncture needles are used to stimulate the nervous system, usually at painful points of muscular tension known as “myofascial trigger points”. These may or may not be at the same points used by traditional Chinese acupuncture. Inserting the needle is usually not painful. There may be a “pin prick” sensation when the needle touches the skin.
Acupuncture can be very effective at addressing muscular pains and tensions and inflamed joints. It is often quicker and less painful than massaging and manipulating the affected muscles and joints. It can be effective at relaxing the deep muscles of the spine which can contribute to back and neck pain, and nerve pain such as sciatica. Acupuncture is often used to alongside osteopathic techniques during an osteopathy treatment.