As well as offering traditional physiotherapy techniques to our patients, we also use Eastern treatments such as acupuncture, dry needling, cupping and Gua Sha. Our therapists are professionally trained in these fields, undertaking intense study to ensure the best treatments for our clients.
Acupuncture is the procedure of inserting and manipulating needles into specific points on the body, with the aim of relieving tension and restoring function. There are different types of acupuncture available, including traditional acupuncture, Western acupuncture and dry needling (which is similar but not the same).
Traditional acupuncture examines changes in the tissues through meridians, as well as looking at the status of the fundamental substances (qi, blood and fluids). Acupuncture is then applied to trigger points and other meridian points where tissue changes are evident. Western acupuncture utilises meridian points while applying them to 'western' reasoning, in particular to neurophysiology and anatomy.
To improve or restore function to debilitated tissue or muscles, dry needling can be used to stimulate the nervous system. Inserting a filament needle to the skin and muscle in a myofascial trigger point causes contracted muscles to relax.
The needle may cause a small amount of pain, which stimulates the muscle to stop its spasm, which is usually the cause of the pain the client is feeling. Dry needling can be used to treat a variety of musculoskeletal problems, including neck, back and shoulder pain, tennis elbow, headaches, leg pain (including hamstring strains and calf tightness) and jaw pain.
An ancient oriental technique, cupping is very therapeutic to the body. It involves using suction and negative pressure to lift the tissue, which causes changes to the tension beneath the skin.
Cupping reduces excess fluid and toxins, promoting blood flow to damaged skin and muscles. It also stimulates the peripheral nervous system, causing a deep feeling of relaxation. Cupping can be used to treat muscular pain, tension, common colds and flu, sporting injuries and menstrual pain. As well as physical injuries, it can also be beneficial for those suffering from high blood pressure, fatigue, chronic headache, neuralgia or anxiety.
An East Asian healing technique, Gua Sha is used to treat pain associated with chronic or acute disorders. It involves stroking an area of the skin to produce a 'sha', which is the appearance of small red petechiae. The colour of the sha allows the therapist to diagnose the condition.
Raising sha removes any blood stagnation and promotes normal circulation and metabolic processes. Light coloured sha indicates reduced blood flow, while purple or black sha signals the blood stasis (slowing or pooling of the blood) is long standing. Gua Sha can be used to provide relief from pain, stiffness, adhesions fever, chill, cough and nausea. It can also help with upper respiratory and digestive problems.