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acupuncture have been used for over 5,000 years with its foundation
developed in the Far East, but considerable scientific research has
been done in the West over the last thirty years, and we now know
much more about how acupuncture works.
It stimulates nerves in the skin, muscle and other tissues and can
produce a variety of effects, increasing production of the body's
natural painkillers, modifying the way pain signals are received by
the brain. Since it harnesses some of the body's own pain relieving
mechanisms, people can vary in their response to it, with more than
80% experiencing benefit.
Research shows that it can affect most of the body's systems, rather
than simply reducing pain; people often notice an improved sense of
wellbeing after treatment.
Acupuncture can be effective in a wide range of painful conditions,
particularly musculoskeletal pain, eg, in the back, neck, shoulder
and leg. It has been used successfully not only in the treatment of
tension headache, migraine, 'trapped nerves', chronic muscle strain,
sports injuries and various kinds of rheumatic and arthritic pain,
but also in functional bowel or bladder problems such as IBS or
overactive bladder, sinus problems and chronic catarrh, and
nausea/vomiting in pregnancy.
A typical treatment involves fine needles being inserted through the
skin and left in position for a short time, sometimes with manual,
and occasionally, electrical stimulation. Treatment might be once a
week to begin with, then at longer intervals as the condition
responds. A typical course of treatment lasts five to eight