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Medical Acupuncture / Dry Needling

Medical acupuncture/ Dry needling is an invasive therapy characterised by the insertion of fine needles into various points of the body for therapeutic benefit. It has been around since the 1960ś and is practised in many countries by health care professionals including Osteopaths. As the name implies, the needles are not hollow and are not loaded with any substance. As such, therapeutic effect is considered to be achieved simply by the physical act of inserting the needle, aided perhaps by mechanical stimulation.

Several differences exist between medical acupuncture/dry needling and traditional Chinese acupuncture. The most notable of these is that in traditional Chinese medicine, acupuncture is a tool used to apply the theory of medicine. Needles are inserted into specific points that correlate with energy lines (or chi meridians) in order to stimulate chi flow, often to specific organs.

Dry needling is used to induce a local twitch response, this response helps alleviate symptoms of pain and restricted range of motion.

Other possible mechanisms of effect include;

  • Localised increased blood flow resulting from insertion of the needle
  • Decreased level of sensitisation in the area
  • Release of endorphins

Medical acupuncture can also be used in conjunction with cupping, thus increasing the flow of blood to the area treated.

Want to find out more about medical acupuncture, or wish to book an appointment at the Stanford-Le-Hope Clinic? Then send me a message or call/text the above number

Cupping Therapy

Cupping therapy is an ancient form of medicine in which special cups are placed on your skin for a few minutes to create suction. Many athletes have been seen using this type of treatment and it has its peaks and troves in regards to its popularity. People use it for many purposes, this can include helping with pain, inflammation, blood flow, relaxation, and well-being, and as a type of deep-tissue massage.

Cupping therapy might be trendy now, but it’s not new. It dates back to Chinese, Middle Eastern cultures and has been found in ancient Egyptian textbooks from 1,550 BC.


There are different methods of cupping, including:
• Dry
• Wet (not performed in this clinic)

Both types of cupping create a vacuum effect on the skin causing the skin in rising and redden as the blood vessels underneath expand. With ‘wet cupping’ the skin is cut to allow blood to be drawn, at the practice I do not perform this technique and only perform dry cupping.

Cups can be made of glass or plastic, in the case of glass cups a flame is used to heat the inside of the cup to create the suction effect. A more modern version of cupping uses a rubber pump to create the vacuum inside the cup, which is what I use inside the clinic. The cups can also be used as a massage by sliding them across the skin moving from place to place.

Sometimes you can combine cupping with needling, the idea is that by combining the two techniques together is enhancing the other.

What Does the Research Show?

A report in the Journal of Traditional and Complementary Medicine 2015, noted that it aids with pain management.
That’s similar to the findings from a 2012 report, published in PLoS One. Australian and Chinese researchers reviewed 135 studies on cupping. They concluded that cupping therapy may be effective when people also get other treatments, such as acupuncture but those researchers noted many of the studies they reviewed could have been biased and that is better. The British Cupping Society says that cupping therapy is used to help with arthritis and fibromyalgia

Side Effects

Cupping is a safe therapy with someone who is professionally trained.
The obvious side effects are bruising and redding of the skin, any other side effects will be discussed on the day with me.

Contact the Stanford-Le-Hope, Essex Clinic for more information


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50, Poley Road,
Stanford Le Hope,
Essex SS17 0JJ

07711 521233

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