Acupuncture is an ancient holistic therapy which is believed to have been developed in China over 3000 years ago. It involves extremely thin, sterile, flexible needles being inserted superficially (only a few millimetres deep) into muscles and soft tissue.
By simply inserting the dry needle into the appropriate acupuncture point, pain relief can be achieved through the reflex relaxation of an active trigger point. This relaxation has been shown with controlled clinical trials to be caused by the reflex inhibition of small diameter peripheral nerve endings. Pain caused by active trigger points has been recognised for over 50 years in medical science.
However, by combining dry needling with Traditional Chinese Medicine principles, acupuncture can work at a deeper level. When used along specific points, acupuncture can stimulate or depress certain musculoskeletal, myofascial and visceral structures.
Clinically, acupuncture continues to be researched and has been shown to be effective in reducing pain in two ways. Firstly, through the reflex inhibition mechanism previously mentioned associated with trigger point release.
Secondly, acupuncture stimulates the release of endorphins from certain deep centres of our brain and central nervous system. Endorphins can be described as our bodies’ “natural pain killer.