Western Medical Acupuncture

As part of a physical therapy treatment programme

Practitioner practising acupuncture treatmentWestern medical acupuncture is a therapeutic modality involving the insertion of fine needles. It is an adaptation of Chinese acupuncture using current knowledge of anatomy, physiology and pathology, and the principles of evidence based medicine.

It acts by stimulating the nervous system, and is mainly used to treat musculoskeletal pain but is also effective for post-operative pain and nausea.

What’s the difference between Western and traditional Chinese acupuncture?

While Western medical acupuncture has evolved from traditional Chinese techniques, its practitioners no longer adhere to concepts such as Yin/Yang and circulation of qi, and regard acupuncture as part of conventional medicine rather than a complete “alternative medical system”.

Traditional Chinese acupuncture is based on the belief that it can restore the flow of Qi, an ‘energy’ that flows through your body, while western medical acupuncture is evidence-based and is only administered after a full diagnosis. The western model uses anatomy, physiology and current medical models.

Which of our practitioners can treat using acupuncture?

Three of our physical therapy practitioners are qualified to provide Western medical acupuncture as part of their treatment programme. Please book a regular physiotherapy/osteopathy assessment and let the practitioner know that you are interested in a Dry Needling / Acupuncture treatment.

The following practitioners are qualified to provide Western Medial Acupuncture as part of their treatment:

Western medical acupuncture prices

Acupuncture can be provided as part of a course of physical therapy treatment, and so prices are the same as regular physiotherapy or osteopathy treatment. (See those pages or the online booking page for current prices.)

Three of our physical therapy practitioners (see above) can prescribe Western medical acupuncture treatment as part of a course of physical therapy treatment. Appointments can be booked online or by calling the LWC on 020 7327 5341.


Does acupuncture hurt?

Acupuncture needles are so fine that most people don’t feel them being inserted. However, it is normal to feel a mild tingle or dull ache as the practitioner adjusts the needle. While the needles are in place, most people feel deeply relaxed – a feeling which can continue after the treatment is complete.

How many sessions will I need?

Your acupuncturist will estimate the number of treatments needed during the initial consultation. You may start to feel benefits after your first or second treatment, although long-standing and chronic conditions usually need more time to improve.

It is recommended that you have three treatments to see how your body responds to acupuncture, and 5-8 treatments are recommended to achieve longer-lasting benefits. Monthly maintenance sessions are recommended for optimal and lasting effects.

Are there are any side effects or risks to having acupuncture?

The main risk of facial acupuncture is that it can cause slight bruising, however this is rare and care is taken to avoid capillaries on the face. This is less of an issue for traditional acupuncture performed on other areas of the body.

Sometimes people can feel dizzy or tired after a treatment, but this passes quickly if it does occur at all.

You can read more about acupuncture on the NHS website; www.nhs.uk/conditions/acupuncture/

The Wellbeing Centre acupuncturists