How combining acupuncture and physiotherapy can help you recover faster

Acupuncture and physiotherapy may seem like two completely different modalities, but did you know that when combined, they can offer so many great benefits?

That’s because, despite their obvious differences, acupuncture and physiotherapy work extremely well together to set your body up for success, relieving pain, speeding up recovery, and providing long-lasting results.

The differences

Before we get into just how beneficial combining acupuncture and physiotherapy can be, let’s talk about the main differences between the two modalities. 

Physiotherapy uses a blend of different exercises, stretches, and laser therapy to relieve pain, prevent and treat injuries, and improve movement and mobility. As you might be aware, a physio examination involves several physical tests to determine your ability. The results of these tests help us to create a detailed treatment plan that’s tailored to your individual needs.

Acupuncture, on the other hand, focuses on using tools such as small needles and suction cups to reduce inflammation and improve blood flow. An important pillar of Traditional Chinese Medicine, acupuncture strives to bring the body back into a natural, balanced state. Not only does acupuncture relieve pain, but it can also reduce stress and anxiety, making for a totally holistic healing approach. 

The similarities

Both physiotherapy and acupuncture take a personalised approach to treatment. They each take a full history so they can assess your individual needs, and provide you with a plan that will work best for your situation. 

Both modalities are designed to relieve pain, increase mobility, and speed up recovery – they’re just different in the way they get these results. Sometimes one approach will be better-suited to you than the other, but utilising both practices is the best way to ensure that you’re in the best position to heal from your injuries.

Because acupuncture focuses on reducing inflammation and releasing muscle tightness, manual physiotherapy exercises can be more effective after you’ve completed this treatment first. This is because your body is better able to perform when the muscles are relaxed and the trigger points have been released.

Benefits of combining physiotherapy and acupuncture

Engaging in both physiotherapy and acupuncture is one of the best things you can do for a healthy body and mind. In fact, one study discovered that patients with frozen shoulder who received both acupuncture and physiotherapy treatments had the best outcomes, including reduced pain and improved quality of life, than those who only received one of these treatments. 

Physiotherapy and acupuncture both have their differences and similarities, but when it comes to combining the two, there are so many ways in which you can benefit. 

Rapid pain relief

Acupuncture relieves pain by stimulating the release of endorphins, while physiotherapy reduces pain through exercises and manual therapy techniques. By combining the two, you’ll get relief from any muscle pain, fast. 

Improved mobility

By engaging in physical exercises designed by a physiotherapist, you can improve your range of motion and overall flexibility. When you add acupuncture to the mix to reduce muscle tension and improve circulation, you’ll be amazed at how much more mobility you have.

Reduced inflammation

Inflammation is usually a strong indicator for pain, so reducing any swelling is essential. Because physiotherapy often uses techniques such as ice therapy to bring down any inflammation, and acupuncture has been proven to reduce inflammation in the body, you’ll get better results by blending both approaches. 

Faster recovery

When you need to get back up and moving again, your recovery time from any injuries needs to be quick. When you combine physio and acupuncture treatments, your recovery time will be much faster because you’re taking the best from both modalities to cover all of your bases.

Acupuncture and physiotherapy can be combined for treatment of so many different conditions, including:

  • Sciatica
  • Lower back pain
  • Neck pain
  • Strains
  • Sprains
  • Tendonitis
  • Arthritis

To find out more about the different physiotherapy and acupuncture services we offer in Auckland, get in touch today! 



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