We have all experienced some form of pain. We know that it is unpleasant and can be debilitating when we experience it.
For some, pain can be short-lived and easily addressed, but for many of us we may struggle with chronic pain that greatly impacts our daily lives. It can be chronic headaches, back and neck pain or joint pains like knee pain and muscle tension. We may experience this pain on a weekly or daily basis, changing or inhibiting what we are able to do.
Acupuncture has been practiced for over 5000 years. Through the insertion of hair-fine needles into specific points along the body, acupuncture can help to improve immune response, decrease inflammation and help change the pain-signalling channels back to the brain. With consecutive treatments (varies based on individual needs and response), you may be able to decrease pain levels and frequency, improve circulation and mobility.
Acupuncture is a comfortable and gentle therapy. Call us today to see if it works for you!
How does Acupuncture work?
The main purpose of acupuncture is to restore energetic balance of the body, which is believed to impacts one’s overall health. By inserting fine needles into specific points along your body, the energy flow is restored therefore restoring health.
The physiological changes of the body have been observed to see how in fact acupuncture produces the results that it does. Here are the prevailing theories:
1. Augmentation of Immunity theory – white blood cell counts, antibody and prostaglandin levels are increased.
2. Endorphin Theory – Acupuncture stimulates the secretions of endorphin in the body.
3. Neurotransmitter Theory – Levels of Seratonin and Noradrenaline are increased during acupuncture treatments.
4. Circulatory Theory – Acupuncture increases circulation through the release of vasodilators causing dilation of blood vessels.
5. Gate Control theory – The perception of pain is controlled by a part of the nervous system which regulates the impulse, called the “gate”. If the gate is hit with too many impulses, it becomes overwhelmed, and it closes. This prevents some of the impulses from getting through. The first gates to close would be the ones that are the smallest. These are the gates that close during Acupuncture, therefore decreasing levels of pain.
Is Acupuncture Safe?
Acupuncture is safe when performed by a trained professional. Licensed practitioners use sterilized, disposable needles to prevent any risk of communicable diseases.
Does Acupuncture Hurt?
Unlike hypodermic needles, acupuncture needles are solid hair thin, and they are not designed to cut the skin. They are also inserted to much more shallow levels than hypodermic needles, generally no more than a half inch to an inch depending on the type of treatment being delivered.
Are there any precautions for acupuncture and Chinese medicine?
The patient should always advise the practitioner if they suffer from a communicable disease or is or planning to become pregnant so that treatments can be altered to ensure the safety of the patient and the practitioner. Individuals suffering from bleeding disorders should not seek acupuncture treatments.
What are the side effects of acupuncture treatments?
Acupuncture treatments may cause temporary light headedness, drowsiness or slight bruising.
Does it interfere with medications that I am already taking?
Please advise your practitioner of prescriptive and non-prescriptive medications that you are taking, as it may affect your response to the acupuncture and herbal treatments.
What to expect on my first visit?
As with most health practitioners, the first visit to an acupuncturist usually begins with the practitioner taking a detailed history. Since traditional Chinese medicine takes a more holistic approach, you may be asked questions that appear unimportant (questions about your sleep habits, your ability to tolerate heat or cold etc.) but are actually vital to the type of care you will receive. After reviewing your history, the practitioner will begin diagnosing your ailment. Depending on your condition, you may be subjected to an examination of the tongue, as well as an examination of the pulse a major diagnostic technique in Traditional Chinese Medicine.
Using all the information obtained during the history and diagnosis, the practitioner will then determine the cause of your symptoms. Depending on the condition, needles will be inserted into specific acupuncture points on the body.
Does OHIP/Extended health insurance cover acupuncture?
OHIP unfortunately does not cover Acupuncture; however most extended health insurance benefits do cover acupuncture treatments. Please contact your provider to obtain details on the extent and conditions of coverage.