Acupuncture: what is it?

Acupuncture is a method of encouraging the body to promote natural healing and to improve functioning. This is done by inserting needles at very precise acupuncture points.

How does acupuncture work?

Classical Chinese Explanation – Channels of energy run in regular patterns through the body and over its surface. These energy channels, called meridians, are like rivers flowing through the body to irrigate and nourish the tissues. An obstruction in the movement of these energy rivers is like a dam that backs up the flow in one part of the body and restricts it in others.

The meridians can be influenced by needling the acupuncture points; the acupuncture needles unblock the obstructions at the dams, and re-establish the regular flow through the meridians.

Modern Scientific Explanation – Needling the acupuncture points stimulates the nervous system to release chemicals in the muscles, spinal cord, and brain. These chemicals will either change the experience of pain, or they will trigger the release of other chemicals and hormones which influence the body’s own internal regulating system.

The improved energy and biochemical balance produced by acupuncture results in stimulating the body’s natural healing abilities, and in promoting physical and emotional well-being.

What is the scope of acupuncture?

The World Health Organization recognizes the use of acupuncture in the treatment of a wide range of problems. Acupuncture applied within the scope of Physiotherapy includes:

Muscular and neurological disorders, headaches, facial tics, neck pain, rib neuritis, frozen shoulder, tennis elbow, various forms of tendonitis, low back pain, sciatica, osteoarthritis, Bell’s palsy, chronic pain syndromes, and fibromyalgia.

Acupuncture is particularly useful in resolving physical problems related to tension and stress and emotional conditions—a wonderful side benefit of treatment.

We would be happy to refer you to an Acupuncturist for issues outside of the scope of physiotherapy such as fertility, weight loss, smoking cessation or treatment of organ systems.

How many treatments will I need?

The number of treatments needed differs from person to person. For complex or long-standing conditions, one or two treatments a week for several months may be recommended. For acute problems, usually fewer visits are required.

There is no additional fee for acupuncture offered at Alternative Physio. It is included as an option in your treatment session.

Are there any side effects to the treatment?

Usually not. One of the most striking aspects of acupuncture is the almost complete absence of adverse side effects.

As energy is redirected in the body, internal chemicals and hormones are stimulated and healing begins to take place.  This effect can create a low level ache at the needle site.

Occasionally a small bruise or a tiny bit of bleeding can occur at the needle site, particularly in those using blood thinners.

The risk of infection is eliminated by the use of sterile disposable needles and skin preparation.

It is quite common with the first one or two treatments to have a sensation of deep relaxation or even mild disorientation immediately following the treatment. These pass within a short time, and never require anything more than a bit of rest to overcome.

Acupuncture  is a great addition to traditional physiotherapy.  It is an effective treatment for:

• Low back and neck pain

• Sciatica

• Headaches and Migraines

• Tendonitis and bursitis

• Tennis  Elbow

• Carpal tunnel

• Fibromyalgia

Please be sure to inform your therapist if you are pregnant or have any blood disorders.