Acupuncture is effective in the treatment of
pain, sciatica, arthritis, headaches, and many
WHAT IS ACUPUNCTURE?
Acupuncture is a treatment technique from Traditional Chinese Medicine that involves the use of very thin needles to puncture certain areas of the human body. In the theory of Traditional Chinese Medicine there are meridians throughout the body. These meridians are considered to be pathways through which blood and Qi are circulated. Qi is considered a fundamental substance constituting the universe.
In Traditional Chinese Medicine the needles will be inserted at specific acupuncture points that are located along the meridians of the human body. Since the Qi is thought to be flowing through the meridians, this will alter it, thus having a therapeutic effect. While these concepts are the foundation of acupuncture, Western adoption has taken a different theoretical approach in explaining its effectiveness.
Acupuncture dates back to traditional Chinese medicine
The practice of Chinese acupuncture goes back thousands of years. It was mentioned in the Huangdi Neijing (Yellow Emperor’s Canon of Internal Medicine) dating back to 2200 BC. Acupuncture & Chinese Medicine acupuncture work on the basis of balancing energy flow.
Acupuncture Therapy Today
The Western approach to acupuncture proposes mechanisms that are quite different from the Traditional Chinese Medicine theory. These mechanisms are primarily based on measurable changes in the human body in response to acupuncture. Inserting a needle into the body creates a cascade of biological effects. The body detects a foreign object causing microtrauma, which leads to increased blood flow to that area. The body also releases endogenous opioids (natural pain killers) in response to the injury, and some studies have even shown a local reduction in inflammation following acupuncture. It is thought that these mechanisms are what can lead to the widespread success of acupuncture in pain management.
Acupuncture is effective in the treatment of pain, sciatica, arthritis, headaches, and many other conditions.
HOW DOES ACUPUNCTURE WORK?
The body detects a foreign object (the acupuncture needle) causing microtrauma, which leads to increased blood flow to that area. The body also releases endogenous opioids (natural pain killers) in response to the microtrauma. Studies have shown a local reduction in inflammation following acupuncture. It is thought that these mechanisms are what can lead to the widespread success of acupuncture in pain management.
At Strive Physiotherapy & Performance, your entire acupuncture session is performed by an experienced physiotherapist as part of your combined, individualized treatment plan.
WHAT ARE THE HEALTH BENEFITS OF ACUPUNCTURE?
There are a variety of acupuncture methods that can provide you with pain relief (and various other benefits).
- Acupuncture may reduce stress levels by lowering the stress hormone, reducing anxiety, and increasing the overall feeling of happiness.
- Acupuncture may provide relief for people struggling with chronic pain, swelling, and inflammation.
- Acupuncture may reduce the frequency of headaches providing relief from migraines.
- Acupuncture may improve the immune system and enhance mental clarity.
- Acupuncture can treat repetitive stress injuries and may eliminate the need for surgery.
WHAT CAN ACUPUNCTURE THERAPY TREAT?
Acupuncture techniques are typically used to treat and relieve the pain and discomfort that comes with a variety of health issues, including:
- Lower back pain
- Preventing chronic headaches and migraine
- Chronic neck pain
- Frequency of tension headaches
- Stroke rehabilitation
- Myofascial pain
- Neuropathic pain
- Limb pain
- Shoulder pain
- Tennis elbow
- Carpal tunnel syndrome
WHAT HAPPENS DURING AN ACUPUNCTURE SESSION?
At Strive, acupuncture is completed at the end of your physiotherapy treatment appointment, by your experienced physiotherapist. Acupuncture will only be administered after a thorough assessment of your pain or injury, so your physiotherapist can determine whether acupuncture is a good fit for you.
Your physiotherapist will discuss the potential risks, and rule out any contraindications. This can include pregnancy and bleeding disorders. Your therapist will then get a solution to clean the area prior to inserting single use, sterile needles. This process is not usually painful as the needles are very thin, but you may feel a slight pinch and/or a dull ache. When the needles are in, if you feel uncomfortable at any stage, you can ask your physiotherapist to adjust or remove a needle.
The acupuncture needles will stay in for anywhere from five to twenty minutes (sometimes even longer), and it’s very important that you don’t move during that time. Once the time is up, your therapist will remove the needles and dispose of them in a secure bio hazardous waste container. You will also feel them apply pressure to the treated area to stop any bleeding that may occur.
WHAT TO DO AFTER AN ACUPUNCTURE SESSION?
Take your time getting up and leaving the clinic to ensure you’re not dizzy or faint. Be sure to continue to drink lots of water and eat appropriately for the rest of the day! Finally, monitor your symptoms over the next few days to determine what kind of effect you’ve felt from the acupuncture.
DOES ACUPUNCTURE THERAPY HURT?
Acupuncture is a natural therapy and a gentle treatment. Most people find the treatments relaxing and cause minimal discomfort. Acupuncture needles are very fine (as thin as a hair), leading to a painless insertion into the skin.
Every person experiences acupuncture differently, but most feel no pain or very minimal pain. You may experience a feeling of warmth or mild aching sensation around the site of insertion.
IS ACUPUNCTURE TREATMENT SAFE?
Acupuncture is safe and effective with few adverse effects and complications reported from its use. A prospective study of 34,407 treatments found no serious adverse effects and only 43 cases of mild adverse effects. Our practitioners use single-use, clean, sterile disposable needles that are never reused.
WHY CHOOSE STRIVE PHYSIOTHERAPY & PERFORMANCE?
Our team of skilled physiotherapists have helped thousands of people across Kitchener & Waterloo region feel their best. We would love the opportunity to help you too. At Strive Physiotherapy & Performance, acupuncture is performed by our physiotherapists as part of your combined, individualized treatment plan.
GIVE US A CALL FOR PAIN RELIEF TODAY!
Give our clinic a call today or book an initial consultation to discover how our evidence-based practice can change your life. We look forward to helping you achieve optimal health goals through our acupuncture services.