I had my last acupuncture session at the Physio today. She asked me to take my husband with me this time so that she could show him some massage moves to help my neck and arm pain.

As usual she was brilliant. She just seems to have the knack of putting the needles in the right spots which really seem to help my pain.

Apparently the NHS are now stopping Acupuncture except for lower back pain. I’ve never had it for lower back pain so it may be something on the cards for me at a later date.

For anyone who does not know what acupuncture actually is – it literally means ‘needle piercing’ where they insert very fine needles into the skin to stimulate specific anatomic points in the body for therapeutic purposes. It originated in China more than 2,000 years ago, making it one of the oldest and most commonly used medical procedures in the world.

The pain management team phoned me up last week to see how I was going on with the Physio and said that my pain consultant had put me down for some trigger point injections to start when I had finished this course for my low back/ sciatica pain.

Trigger points have actually only become popular recently because they can’t actually be physically observed in the tissue. In other words, if someone was put under for surgery, and the surgeon cut the skin over the top of a theoretical trigger point, there would be no difference between the sensitive site and the appearance of the surrounding muscle.

Trigger point injection is used to treat extremely painful areas of muscle. Normal muscle contracts and relaxes when it is active. However a trigger point is a knot or tight, ropey band of muscle that forms when muscle fails to relax. The knot can often be felt under the skin and may twitch involuntarily when touched. It is used a lot for Myofascial Pain and Fibromyalgia.



  1. I had it for my knees on the nhs but the person was so cold and unfriendly i was not surprised it didn’t work.It would tske more then 3 times i think.It was all soisappointing there at the hospital.


    • I agree with you about the person giving it you – I’ve had some awful treatments but the lady giving me the treatment this time was wonderful and I think that is all part of the treatment. Sorry you had a bad experience with it.


  2. Oh Barmac, what you have to go through. I don’t think I could ever submit myself to those needles, however thin they are. The inflammatory muscle disease has been attackeing the top muscles of both my shoulders for the past three months. There ahve been times when I could barely lift my arms to fix my hair. All I can do is ‘wait it out’ for it will slink on somewhere else after weakening down these muscles. I see it as a cr awling beasts, always hungry.
    I am not ready yet for any plasma exhange. The first time would take six days in the hospital, watching for reactions. The infusion would be seven hours per day, with rubber tubes in opoen veins of my arms, lying flat on my back. No way!! Could you do that, Barmac?
    I just put up with it, and try to go forward and get through the day. The hot shower in the morning is what I look forward to. It really helps – temporarily!
    Sorry I haven’t been around, I am still packing, but faltering when it comes to tossing stuff. I just stand there and oscillate! This move is the worst one ever. Roll on March 11th., so we can get it over with, and make that 1,000 mile journey in the car with a squalling dachshund in her crate! Naughty creature, for we have spoilt her rotten!
    I am really sorry the NHS is putting a stop to acupuncture, for it is a lot cheaper than some of those other treatments. It seems that the your Government keeps shooting themselves in the foot!!
    I wish this day to be one without pain for you, dear Barmac. JW XX


  3. Any skeletal muscle pain can be easily cure by Tradition Chinese Medicine (TCM) Acupuncture.

    Beside sciatica(more trials needed), all others skeletal muscle pains are not recorded in TCM text therefore no “Acupoints(???)” can be provided to any acupuncturist as that they need to advancing the practice and pick the right AcuPoints.

    Be respectful, Acupuncture is not a device or voodoo magic, it does not release any things (certainly not endorphins) or anti-inflammatory agents. Please do not mislead. It is a 4,610 years old micro surgical tool, etc, . even before Yellow Explorer ruling China.

    For 4,610 years (2600BC), Yellow Explorer’s time. Until now acupuncturist continues this ancient TCM practice to eliminating all diseases (trying). All the main hospitals of China use this to treat most patients as busy as KFC fast food.
    Acupuncture treatment will has needling sensation effect for first few days. This called “DE Qi/Chi” (Arrival of Oxy’Blood—needling sensation). it must be achieved so that Yin & Yang(Negative and Positive energy) can be balanced, else diseases can’t be eliminated. The fundamental manipulating techniques are Lifting and thrusting & Twirling or rotating. TCM Acupuncture therapeutic works and easily cures muscular pain if apply correctly.

    “An acupuncture is bad science”. not much can be expected in 4,610 years ago, good science & resources only available from 1850AD such great scientists: Heinrich Hertz in 1887, Albert Einstein in 1905.
    Since 2005 acupuncture has added a new chapter of modem science
    such as my E² Acupuncture is a new scientific proven, verified and even dispelling the amount of excessive Yins/-Toxin can be calculated, use single new save disposal and painless micro-needle insertion to proper “Acupoints(???)” and has no side effects, less risk mainly due to accident same as any treatments.
    No Lifting and thrusting & Twirling or rotating manipulating needed so that patient cans comfortably having a cup tea/coffee.

    Acupuncturist must fully understood the Five Elements(五行), Five Changes(五变) and Five Shu/Transports(五输/通) Yin & Yang balance principles. if any one treated by 5 X 30 minutes in 2 weeks and has no relief by 4 weeks, please discontinues and shop around.

    Plantar fasciitis or any skeletal muscle pain can be easily cure by acupuncture. I have my PF cured twice by my own EE Acupuncture, last one was on march/2011 since then pain remains free and no sign of coming back.

    E² Acupuncture is a new scientific proven, verified and even dispelling the amount of excessive Yins/-Toxin can be calculated

    check/click on my site (you can send to any one of my site)
    or more help below sites

    Sciatica update (loc: buttock & 5 inches down, 2 spots).
    treated on 30th/10/2011.
    12 days after and feedback:

    “Been feeling the slight tenderness in the area where the needle were inserted. Felt my legs is tired but not the numbness.” (50% pain relief, 100% no numbness)

    5 weeks Later (email on 4th/11/2011):
    “Seems to be fine, slight tenderness but definitely better than before” (now 90% cure)

    why pain relief if it can be so easily cured.
    and the cost of curing it is so much less then a pair of PF shoes and not to mention others, .



  4. Hi Barmac

    Your right, the NHS cant afford to commission acupuncture right now – but we are hoping that over the next few years things will improve and it will be available again.

    A lot of people experience acupuncture for the first time via a physiotherapist/GP who will have probably had a basic acupuncture course of a few weeks to learn trigger points and dry needling techniques. I would recommend going to see a BSc qualified acupuncturist – that way you know they have received a minimum of three years training in acupuncture specifically. The way an acupuncturist works is very different to the way an physiotherapist/GP etc does when using needling: your treatment will be individualised and specific to your condition and will also incorporate points to benefit any other condition(s) you have as well as your general well-being. A good acupuncture session will leave you feeling relaxed, sleepy and with reduced pain levels.

    Here are some links to research into back pain specifically. I hope they restore your faith in alternative medicine and maybe you’ll consider trying treatment again. The good news in that acupuncture is covered by most health insurance companies/health cash plans. Enjoy reading:

    1. Haake, M et al (2007) ‘German Acupuncture Trials (GERAC) for Chronic Low Back Pain’. Archives of International medicine:167(17);1892-1898

    2. Thomas, KJ et al (2005) ‘Benefits of offering acupuncture to patients with chronic low back pain’. National Health Service (NHS) Health Technology Assessment 2005;19;32

    3. National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (2009) ‘Low back pain’. National Collaborating Centre for Primary Care: May-2009 C

    4. British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) (2009) ‘NHS to give back pain acupuncture’. BBC News Online;26/05/2009

    5. British Acupuncture Council (2009) ‘BAcC responds to NICE guidelines re acupuncture for back pain’. British Acupuncture Council: 26/05/2009

    6. Laurence, J (2007) ‘Acupuncture is best way to treat back pain, study finds’. The Independent: 25/09/2007

    Acupuncture Cambridge


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