Acupuncture involves fine single-use sterile needles being inserted through the skin and left for between a few seconds and thirty minutes depending on the person and condition being treated. It can be stimulated manually or with electroacupuncture. The number of needles varies but is usually a couple during the initial consultation and more in follow up treatments. Acupuncture stimulates nerves, muscles and other tissues in the body and may produce different effects. It can release endorphins and serotonin and it may not only reduce pain but improve health and sense of wellbeing. Current research has demonstrated that acupuncture may have an effect on circulation, digestion, hormone production, the nervous system, reproductive and urinary systems.
Acupuncture semi-permanent indwelling needles (studs) are very short, fine needles which are attached to a small adhesive plaster and can be left in place from a few days to up to a week. They have the added advantage of prolonging the effects of treatment which may be particularly useful in some conditions.
Acupressure with seeds is used form some conditions. Tiny round seeds are attached to a discrete small plaster and applied to an acupressure point, usually on the ear. They can be left in place for days and you can add pressure to them when your symptoms arise.