This week (25th February – 3rd March 2013) is Acupuncture Awareness Week, supported by the British Acupuncture Council, and aims to better inform people about the ancient practice of acupuncture. The number of acupuncture treatments carried out each year has been increasing year by year, with over 2.3million treatments being carried out each year, making it one of the UK’s most popular complementary therapies practiced.
Despite having widely recognised health benefits however, many people are sceptical about its uses, and often are only turned to it as a last resort. The use of needles is also a deterrent for many people, who have a misconception that it is the same size as a needle used for an injection, when in fact the needles used in treatment are approximately the same width as a human hair at just 0.13mm in diameter. So although people may feel a slight tingling sensation from the needles, it is in fact nowhere near the pain associated with an injection.
Acupuncture has evidence-based clinical research that shows it can be used to safely treat a wide range of common health problems, from short-term relief for back pain, headaches, migraines, osteoarthritis of the knee and more. The National Institue for Health and Clinical Excellent guidelines actually recommend that GP’s offer a course of ten sessions of acupuncture as first-line treatment for persistent lower back pain.