What is Acupuncture?
Acupuncture involves the insertion of very fine needles through the skin and tissues at specific points (acupuncture points) on the body. There is no injection of any substance and the treatment itself causes minimal discomfort.
“Classical” acupuncture was developed in China over thousands of years ago as a system of diagnosing and treating pain and disease. It defines acupuncture as one component of traditional Chinese medicine which aims to balance energy and blood in the body in order to keep it functional and healthy.
“Anatomical” acupuncture refers to a more modern approach taken today by the Acupuncture Foundation of Canada Institute (AFCI) and other western trained acupuncture therapists. When combined with a knowledge of anatomy, physiology and pathophysiology, modern therapists can use acupuncture effectively.
Electro-acupuncture involves stimulation of inserted needles with gentle electrical impulses, in which the stimulating effect of the acupuncture can be enhanced. Low power laser may also be used instead of needles to stimulate appropriate points (acupuncture points).
Effects and Benefits
Acupuncture can promote the release of a patient’s own pain relieving chemicals called” endorphins”. Endorphins help to block pathways that relay pain messages from the body to the brain, resulting in relief of pain, general relaxation and biochemical restoration of the body’s own internal regulation systems. It stimulates the body’s natural healing abilities, reducing inflammation, and promoting physical and emotional well-being.
The World Health Organization has identified the benefits of acupuncture in the treatment of a wide range of medical problems. Within the scope of practice of physiotherapy, our physiotherapists treat mostly the neurological and muscular disorders. Some of the common conditions are:
- Headaches (cervico-generic headache or tension headache)
- Neck and back pain
- Frozen shoulder, tennis elbow, rotator cuff
- Tendinitis, sciatica, arthritis
- Carpal tunnel syndrome
- Hip and knee pain
- Muscle stiffness
- Chronic pain syndrome etc.
The number or treatments will vary with each individual and the condition being treated. Treatment sessions usually last between 15 and 30 minutes. Relief may be immediate or occur within a few hours, or after a few days. Eighty to ninety percent of patients respond well to acupuncture with noticeable improvement. Acupuncture can be used as the only form of therapy or it may be combined successfully with other forms of physical therapy or manual therapy.
If you have any questions regarding acupuncture treatment, please contact us at 403-272-9628 and we will be happy to assist!