Acupuncture is a treatment in which very fine needles are inserted through the skin and tissues at specific points on the body. The World Health Organization has recognized the benefits of acupuncture in treating a wide range of medical problems. Acupuncture can assist in pain control, aid in the treatment of autonomic nervous system disorders, as well as promote tissue regeneration and healing. It’s particularly effective in resolving physical issues that are related to tension, stress, and other emotional conditions.
Acupuncture can be an effective treatment on its own or in combination with other techniques and treatments. It’s important to discuss your current treatments with our team, so we can effectively co-ordinate your care and help you get the most out of all your treatments.
How Does Acupuncture Work?
The classical Chinese explanation of acupuncture is based on the concept of “meridians”, which are energy channels that run through the body. If the flow of the body’s energy is obstructed, it can cause discomfort and disease. The acupuncture needles unblock these obstructions, restoring regular energy flow through the meridians, and correcting the body’s imbalances.
The modern scientific explanation of acupuncture views acupuncture points as places to stimulate muscles, connective tissues and nerves. Stimulating these acupuncture points triggers the nervous system to release chemicals, which provide pain relief, or promotes the release of other chemicals that act on the body’s internal regulating systems. Essentially, acupuncture improves the body’s biochemical balance, and stimulates its natural healing abilities.
First, our acupuncturist will examine you for reactive areas to determine which acupuncture points to use in your treatment. Sometimes the appropriate points will not be in the areas where you are experiencing pain. There are over 500 acupuncture points in the body, but a typically session only targets between 1 and 12. The needles are placed at various depths, ranging from about one to two inches. Each person experiences acupuncture differently. Most patients feel only minor discomfort as the needles are inserted, while other feel absolutely no pain. You may feel a slight heaviness, numbness or tingling after the needles are inserted, which means the treatment is working.
After the needles are inserted, they will be left in place for up to 20 minutes. The acupuncturist may twirl the needles, or apply heat or a mild electrical pulse. Most people do not experience any discomfort when the needles are removed at the end of the session. Many people feel relaxed after a session, while others feel energized.
Throughout the treatment process, we will use different combinations of acupuncture points, as well as different needling techniques, based on your body’s response. The number of treatment sessions necessary is different for each person, although one or two session per week for five to six weeks is a common course of treatment.