Acupuncture for Acute and Chronic Pain Relief
- Omnia Acupuncture Therapy can help with the relief and management of acute and chronic pain
- Acupuncture is a branch of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) now available through many GP practices and is recognised by the National Institute of Care Excellence (NICE), the World Health Organisation (WHO) and the American College of Physicians (ACP).
What is acupuncture?
Acupuncture is a branch of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) based on the principle that pain and illness is due to an imbalance of Qi, which is the natural vital force that flows through the body. The technique involves inserting ultra-fine needles into the skin to stimulate specific points called acupressure points to balance the flow of Qi through the body’s meridians. An analgesic effect results which increases the body’s release of natural painkillers such as serotonin and endorphins. Acupuncture also initiates a process called purinergic signalling, a system using ATP and purine for signalling and regulation of all tissues and organs.
Why do people choose Omnia Acupuncture Therapy?
Many people choose Acupuncture for help with specific aches and pains such as headaches or lower back or shoulder pain. Others when they feel their bodily functions are out of balance with no obvious diagnosis such as auto-immune diseases. Yet others opt for Acupuncture for relaxation and to enhance their feeling of well-being. However, the most popular and well-known application of Acupuncture is in the relief and management of acute and chronic pain, where it has proven to be effective, reducing the need for drugs and their harmful side effects.
Acupuncture is suitable for all ages including babies and children. The strongest evidence of its effectiveness arises when it is used in conjunction with conventional therapies such as physiotherapy or osteopathy.
What conditions can acupuncture treat?
In June 2019, the World Health Organisation (WHO) published its 11th version of its International Statistical Classification of Diseases and Related Health Problems (ICD) which included a chapter on TCM and Acupuncture. Expected to be implemented in member states in 2022, this is a significant step in the recognition of TCM and Acupuncture as safe, cost-effective and accessible treatment options towards WHO’s overarching goal of universal health coverage. More importantly, 70% of money spent on healthcare globally is reimbursed or allocated based on ICD information.
Specific guidance from WHO states that Acupuncture should be referred to as an effective treatment option for the following conditions (click on each treatment for more information ):
Institutions and Studies
Acupuncture is now available in many GP practices as well as in most pain clinics and hospices in the UK. The National Institute of Care Excellence (NICE) recommends Acupuncture as a treatment option for chronic tension type headaches and migraines. In 2009, NICE also recommended that Acupuncture should be made available in the NHS as a cost-effective, short-term treatment for the management of early, persistent, non-specific lower back pain.
In 2017, the American College of Physicians (ACP) in publishing its clinical practice guidelines for the non-invasive treatment for acute, sub-acute and chronic low back pain strongly recommended using Acupuncture as an initial, non-pharmacologic treatment option.
In a major analysis¹ of evidence-based systematic reviews, Acupuncture was found to be effective in 117 conditions over 14 clinical areas including allergic rhinitis, chronic low back pain, knee osteoarthritis, tension and chronic headaches & migraines, pain and nausea & vomiting associated with post-surgery or chemotherapy.
For a comparative literature review of Acupuncture, visit The Acupuncture Evidence Project.
Several other head-to-head meta-analyses² identified Acupuncture as more effective than drugs such as steroid injections, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) and other interventions such as manipulation, ultra-sound therapy, exercise and weight loss for the treatment of conditions such as knee osteoarthritis, shoulder pain, sciatica and chronic constipation. There is considerable evidence that Acupuncture is more effective than most drugs in the treatment and management of chronic pain.
Besides its effectiveness, Acupuncture is also regarded as one the safest treatment options around. The results of two independent surveys³ concluded that the risk of serious, adverse reaction to Acupuncture is less than 1 in 10,000. Acupuncture reduces the need for drugs and medication which can cause harmful dependencies and undesirable side effects.
¹ (McDonald, J & Janz, S, The Acupuncture Evidence Project, 2018)
² (Corbett, MS et al, Osteoarthritis and Cartilage, 2013), (Dong, W et al, Medicine, Baltimore, 2015), (Lewis, R et al, The Spine Journal, 2015) and (Zhu, L et al, PLoS ONE, 2018)
³ (MacPherson et al, BMJ 2001;323:486) and White et al, BMJ 2001;323:485)
Omnia Acupuncture Treatments
At Omnia, our focus is primarily on the use of Acupuncture for the relief and management of acute and chronic pain. We offer the following treatments:
The Patient Journey
At Omnia, our focus is on you. Please read below for more information on what to expect, but get in touch if you have any questions:
If you are new to Acupuncture please let us know so that we can explain the treatment options, protocols, contraindications and risks so that you will be comfortable with your experience. It would be helpful to wear loose-fitting clothes that allows easy access to your lower arms and legs where most acupressure points are located. Avoid an empty stomach or heavy meal for at least an hour before coming for consultation or treatment and food & drinks that may colour your tongue like coffee or tea.
In this process, the acupuncturist needs to get a thorough understanding of your malady, general state of health and lifestyle by enquiring about your symptoms, medical history, sleep patterns, appetite and diet and emotional well-being. Women may have to provide details of their menstrual cycle as well as past pregnancies and childbirth. You may feel that these questions may be unrelated to your condition but as Acupuncture delves into the root cause of pain and not merely relieving the symptoms, it makes it necessary to obtain a complete picture of your health and lifestyle.
Your acupuncturist will take your pulse from both wrists, examine your tongue and feel the Qi flowing by gently pressing their fingers or hands on specific areas of the body. From this, the acupuncturist will diagnose the condition and formulate a treatment plan which includes diet & nutrition as well as lifestyle advice. The initial consultation normally takes about an hour.
At Omnia, we believe in self-healing through the synchronisation of mind and body. We offer lifestyle advice involving changes in daily routine, diet and exercise designed to enhance the long-term effects of your treatment. We can arrange Tai-Chi and Qigong sessions for individuals and groups to promote active self-healing.
Acupuncture is sometimes available on the NHS from GP practices and physiotherapists as well as in most pain clinics and hospices in the UK. Most acupuncture patients pay for private treatment. As the demand for complementary medicine increases, more private health insurance companies such as AVIVA and BUPA are beginning to offer cover for Acupuncture.
The National Institute of Care Excellence (NICE) recommends as a treatment option for chronic tension type headaches and migraines. In 2009, NICE also recommended that Acupuncture should be made available in the NHS as a cost-effective, short-term treatment for the management of early, persistent, non-specific lower back pain.
Most people will find Acupuncture calm and relaxing. Patients often describe the needle sensation as a tingling or dull ache. This is a sign that the Qi is being stimulated and released. At Omnia, we offer Electroacupuncture and Fu Needle treatments, which further minimise the effects of any fear or discomfort caused by needles.
If you have been prescribed medication, we recommend that you inform your GP that you are considering Acupuncture therapy. You should continue your medication. During the initial consultation your acupuncturist will advise you of the contraindications such as metal allergy, haemophilia or if taking anti-coagulant medication. You may also be referred to your GP if the acupuncturist treating you recognises a risk during your consultation or even after treatment.
Acupuncturists believe that factors that determine health are unique to individuals. The number of sessions you will therefore need depends on individual circumstances such as your physical health, lifestyle and mental state. Some change is usually felt within 5 or 6 treatments although occasionally 1 or 2 treatments may be enough. Traditional acupuncture is also very effective when used as preventive healthcare so regular sessions help maintain Qi balance.
Acupuncture is one of the safest alternatives to drugs for the relief and management of pain. Two independent surveys* published in the British Medical Journal (BMJ) concluded that the risk of serious adverse injury to Acupuncture is less than 1 in 10,000, significantly less than most conventional treatments. The needles used are single use, sterile and disposable.
What to do next
If you have any questions, then please contact us, we would love to hear from you:
Alternatively you can arrange a convenient date/time for your acupuncture therapy: