Medical Acupuncture (Dry Needling or Neuromuscular Acupuncture)

Medical acupuncturists are trained in a westernized form of acupuncture, its primary objective to treat painful ‘trigger points’ in the bodies muscles, although some Chinese acupuncture points are also used. An active trigger point is a hypersensitive point in the muscle or connective tissue (fascia), which causes local or referred pain. Needling of indicated active (pain causing) trigger points during medical acupuncture treatment works to treat musculoskeletal issues by reducing pain, easing muscle spasm and facilitating the bodies self healing mechanisms. Many theories exist to explain acupuncture’s pain-reducing effects, which are believed to include local, spinal-segmental and central neurophysiological mechanisms. Kipp undertook postgraduate training in medical acupuncture through OMT Training, with respected Osteopath and author of ‘Dry Needling for Manual Therapists’, Giles Gyer.

Trigger points (Ashi points in Chinese Acupuncture) often exist on, or near, Chinese acupuncture points situated on the body’s energy lines (meridians). However, medical acupuncture is a distinctly different therapy to Chinese acupuncture in a number of important ways: Chinese acupuncture follows the principles of traditional Chinese medicine (TCM), whereas medical acupuncture follows western, scientific principles. Acupuncture points are anatomically defined (always in the same place), whereas trigger points can exist anywhere in the body’s soft tissues. Needle placement in Chinese acupuncture is governed by the meridians, whereas anatomy is the key consideration in medical acupuncture. Lastly Chinese acupuncture is also frequently used to address chronic ill health, emotional issues and encourage correct body system function. In contrast medical acupuncture aims to solely treat musculoskeletal issues, by neuromuscular means.

Medical Acupuncture has proven particularly beneficial in treating acute pain, headaches and migraines, tendinopathies (including tendinitis), muscular spasm, cricked necks, bursitis, arthritis pain and chronic strains/sprains.

Recommended reading: Dry Needling for Manual Therapists: Points, Techniques and Treatments, Including Electroacupuncture and Advanced Tendon Techniques; Jimmy Michael, Ben Tolson, Giles Gyer

Neck Acupuncture

Alton Advanced Bodywork is Kipp Clark, an Advanced Clinical Massage Therapist and specialist in Chronic Pain Treatment, who practices in Alton on the Hampshire/Surrey borders.

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