Western medical acupuncture is an adaption of Chinese traditional acupuncture using current knowledge of anatomy, physiology, pathology and the principles of evidence-based medicine. Stimulating the body with acupuncture needles activates a disturbed nervous system, generally in the direction towards normal function. MRI scannning has shown that acupuncture can affect important areas within the nervous system - this provides a possible explanation for its far reaching effects.
Acupuncture has been used in China for more than 3000 years. It works on the theory that disease and malfunction in the body result from blockages in the flow of vital energy or Qi and blood. Qi moves through our bodies in channels or meridians found under the skin. By inserting fine needles in specific points on the surface of the body, energy blockages can be removed and the normal flow of Qi can be restored. Organs function optimally and health is restored.
Studies conducted in recent years have shown acupuncture to be effective in treating many health problems. It is the most researched form of complementary therapy. The World Health Organisation has recognised over a hundred conditions that can be treated by acupuncture.
In 2005, a study was published by Elden et al comparing acupuncture and stabilizing exercises with standard treatment (pelvic belt, home exercise programme, patient education) for pelvic pain during pregnancy. It showed that acupuncture showed clear clinical advantages over standard treatment alone for the reduction of pelvic girdle pain.