Acupuncture is an effective and widely used treatment technique, which helps to accelerate healing and reduce pain for a variety of conditions. The general theory of acupuncture is based on the premise that there are patterns of energy flow (Qi) through the body that are essential for health. Acupuncture also increases blood circulation, which contribute to tissue repair and pain relief.
Many studies have demonstrated that acupuncture can cause multiple biological responses. These responses can occur locally, close to the site of application, or at a distance, mediated by sensory neurons to many structures within the central nervous system.
There is considerable evidence supporting the claim that opioids (pain relieving chemicals) are released during acupuncture and that the analgesic effects of acupuncture are at least partially explained by their actions.
Additionally, the release of neurotransmitters and hormones and changes in the regulation of blood flow, both centrally and peripherally, have been shown to have an effect on pain reduction.
Our physiotherapist is highly trained in acupuncture for pain disorders and musculoskeletal injuries and teaches other health care professionals how to effectively use acupuncture.
Acupuncture and Traditional Chinese Medicine
Acupuncture from a Chinese medicine perspective is quite complex and can be difficult for many people to comprehend. This is because it is based, on the philosophy that what happens to one part of the body affects every other part of the body. The mind and body are not viewed separately, but as part of one intricate system. Similarly, organs and the systems encompassing them are viewed as interconnected entities that work harmoniously to keep the body functioning.
One concept unique to Acupuncture is qi (pronounced “chi”), which is considered a vital force or energy responsible for controlling the workings of the human mind and body by flowing through the body’s channels or “meridians”. There are a total of 12 primary meridians corresponding to organs. Imbalances in the flow of qi cause illness. Acupuncture (often used in conjunction with Chinese Herbal Medicine) helps restore energy balance in the body. The opposites of Yin and Yang are also concepts that help explain Traditional Chinese Medicine and use of Acupuncture.
Aside from the musculoskeletal and pain conditions, acupuncture can be used to treat the following conditions:
- Depression and anxiety,
- Facial pain,
- Migraines and other types of headaches,
- Temporal-mandibular joint dysfunctions, and
Apart from the use of needling in Acupuncture, our Physiotherapist uses complementary techniques to further move the circulation to promote healing and pain reduction. These techniques include:
- Therapeutic Cupping,
- Guasha, and
Frequently Asked Questions About Acupuncture
Does it hurt?
Acupuncture does not produce pain as most people know it. One does feel a heaviness, distention or discomfort as the needles are inserted or manipulated but this means that the energy or “chi” has been tapped into and the effectiveness of the treatment is more certain. Very rarely, a needle can touch the side of nerve, which may produce pain, and if this occurs, the needle is withdrawn and a new needle is placed nearby.
Is it safe?
Acupuncture is very safe when used by a knowledgeable practitioner who is aware of anatomical danger zones and uses the clean needle technique to ensure there is a 100% chance that infection will not occur.
There are no side effects of acupuncture that are detrimental; some patients may feel extra energy after acupuncture while others can feel fatigued.
Our staff teach acupuncture to other health professionals with a large focus on safety and are determined to prevent adverse effects by educating as many professionals as possible.
How long does it take to get better?
This varies depending on what condition you may have. For acute or sub-acute conditions, it can often take between two and six treatments, however, for chronic conditions, you may require treatment one to two times per week for several months.
Is it best performed by a Chinese practitioner?
No, this is not necessarily true. Perhaps many years ago when it was introduced in this country, Chinese practitioners were the only ones who could perform acupuncture competently. The many schools in North America have trained thousands of native Canadians and people from all countries who have developed their skills at a very high level and are incredibly effective in treating a variety of conditions.
Does it really work?
Yes, acupuncture works incredibly well for many conditions. There is ample evidence to back it up and a huge community of people whose lives have been drastically improved with use of acupuncture. If you need more information, please contact PhysioMax to find out more about this extremely helpful treatment technique.
Parting Words About Acupuncture and Chinese Medicine
The effectiveness of Acupuncture is backed by a great deal of research conducted in the last 30 years. Most Western-trained physicians have acknowledged the use of Acupuncture for many conditions and even refer patients to us to have acupuncture done.
We have also seen a steady incline in the amount of people using acupuncture, herbal remedies and other components of traditional Chinese medicine over the years as it this health care discipline becomes mainstream. The reason for this occurrence include the following: an increasing awareness and interest in, and use of, Acupuncture and Traditional Chinese Medicine and its effectiveness, affordability and lack of adverse side-effects compared to Western medicine.