Both massage and acupuncture can increase circulation, relax tense muscles and reduce pain and inflammation. For some people massage or acupuncture alone is effective but often I use massage with oil as an initial examination to assess what treatment is appropriate and also which is preferred.
Massage enables areas of pain and tension to be identified which may have taut muscle bands and ‘trigger points’. These areas can be massaged or acupuncture needles can be inserted.
For more information on massage see:
Scottish Massage Therapists Organisation (SMTO)
My training is in Western Medical Acupuncture which depends mostly on a medical diagnosis and treatment of trigger points but I also use Traditional Chinese Acupuncture points which may be distant to the problem area eg. on the foot or hand.
Results of medical research are showing that acupuncture can increase the release of natural painkillers including endorphins and serotonin and can modify pain signals to and from the brain and spinal cord. It has been found that acupuncture can affect the different body systems such as the nervous, musculoskeletal, endocrine, digestive and respiratory systems but it is especially effective in helping arthritic conditions by reducing joint pain and increasing mobility.
For people there is most evidence for acupuncture being effective in treating tension-type headaches, migraines, low back pain and osteoarthritis in the knee. However acupuncture is often helpful in treating soft tissue problems such as tennis/golfer’s elbow and conditions that may be stress related.
For more information on medical acupuncture see:
British Medical Acupuncture Society
Acupuncture for keloid scar
I submitted the following photographs and text to the Journal of the British Medical Acupuncture Society -“Acupuncture in Medicine”- which were published in March 2011. I treated vet nurse Gillian’s arm who was especially delighted with the outcome of avoiding further surgery to repair her scar!
“Figure 1 shows keloid scar six months after repair of a Colles’fracture to the left wrist of a 27 year old female. It was persistently sensitive, and plastic surgery had been offered. Figure 2 shows acupuncture needles ‘circling the dragon’ up to ten small needles (0.20x15mm, Seirin, without guide tube) were placed in healthy skin as close to the edge as possible and approximately 1cm apart, with no stimulation. The patient was aware of improvement straightaway, and after eight further treatments over four months the scar was flatter and much less sensitive. Figure 3 shows the scar after six months – free of pain or other symptoms and not needing surgery.”
Madge, occupational therapist –
“after only 3 sessions of massage and acupuncture my shoulder was so much better and the pins and needles in my hand had gone”.
Nick, marketing engineer –
“in the 16 days between my first and second treatment with massage and acupuncture I had no headaches instead of several times a week”
Pat, dog-walker –
“I think the effects of acupuncture are amazing and I have regular treatments for my aches and pains!”
Fiona, schoolteacher –
“acupuncture really helped me recover from post-viral fatigue which I’d had for over a year. I now look forward to a massage every month to reduce the tension in my neck and shoulders that builds up with my work!”
Willie, landscape gardener –
“ Since I started acupuncture and electro-acupuncture my chronic shoulder pain has improved and I am getting back to doing handstand press-ups at the gym!”