Acupuncture is an old therapeutic method from Chinese medicine in which very small, fine needles are inserted at specific points in the body. Heat application or electrical stimulation such as a TENS unit are often added to the treatment.
Acupuncture works by stimulating the body’s natural healing mechanisms, helping to restore physical and mental balance. Traditional Chinese explanations use the concept of restoring the normal flow of the vital energy (Ch’i) that circulates along special channels all throughout the body. Modern research has shown that acupuncture elicits a complex set of responses in the body’s nervous system, including the release of chemicals and hormones involved in pain transmission, all of which work to reduce pain and make you feel better!
As with all of our clinic’s services, Acupuncture can work synergistically to stimulate the body’s natural healing capacity and can be combined with another treatment protocol such as chiropractic to meet your needs quickly and effectively. Determining the right course of care is an individualized approach, and will be determined following a full assessment to determine your needs and goals.
According to the latest research, the most successful applications of acupuncture in the U.S. and Canada are for pain problems, particularly for acute and chronic musculoskeletal pain. Pain problems responsive to acupuncture include: acute sprains and strains, pain from nerve entrapment, repetitive strain disorders (e.g., carpal tunnel syndrome, tennis elbow, plantar fasciitis), headaches, degenerative disc disease and myofascial pain patterns such as shoulder, neck and back pain.
In the hands of qualified practitioners, acupuncture is considered an extremely safe intervention, with a time-tested record of millions of treatments, virtually free of side effects. Nowadays, the use of sterile disposable needles has totally eliminated the risk of infection.
Acupuncture does not cause significant discomfort in the majority of patients. The needles are very fine and do not damage the tissues when inserted. For many people, acupuncture is a pleasant experience due to the sense of well-being that usually follows the treatment.
The number of treatments required depends on the severity and duration of the symptoms to be addressed. For a cold or flu, one or two treatments can be very helpful. For chronic health conditions of years or even life-long duration, a longer course of treatment is normally required. Within the first 4-6 sessions, the effectiveness of the treatment is often evident and clear treatment goals should be established.
The answer to this question is no. While having a positive state of mind helps with any type of treatment, conventional or otherwise, it is not necessary to “believe” in acupuncture for it to work. This is evidenced not only through clinical study in “non-believers”, but by the fact that animals and small children who cannot be instructed to “believe” receive relief through the use of acupuncture.
Acupuncture can be effective as the only treatment, or as an adjunct to other therapeutic interventions. The World Health Organization recognizes the use of acupuncture in the treatment of: