Acupuncture

Acupuncture Treatment

Acupuncture is a safe and beneficial tool that trained therapists may use in combination with other physiotherapy modalities.

Based on the philosophy of traditional Chinese medicine, acupuncture helps maintain or restore the balance of energy, or qi (pronounced: chee), in the body, ultimately reducing pain and discomfort for patients.

In Western medicine, “practitioners view the acupuncture points as places to stimulate nerves, muscles and connective tissue.” (Mayo Clinic). When stimulating these points, “the body releases endorphins – “natural pain-relieving neurohormones” (Acupuncture Canada), which in turn impacts the muscular, skeletal, neurological, digestive, respiratory, urinary, and reproductive systems.

Treatable conditions
Acupuncture can be used to treat the following issues (and more):

    • Back pain
    • Sciatica
    • Knee osteoarthritis
    • Sprains and strains
    • Whiplash
    • TMJ disorder/jaw pain
    • Headaches

Pre and post-treatment instructions

Pre-appointment recommendations:

    • Have a light meal
    • Refrain from alcohol, barbiturates, or tranquilizers for 4+ hours prior
    • Do not smoke tobacco for one hour beforehand
    • Be well-rested, if possible

Post-appointment recommendations:

    • Rest for two hours after you get home, if possible
    • If treatment is for a painful condition, avoid strenuous activity for two days after treatment
    • Refrain from alcohol or caffeine for two hours afterward
    • Do not smoke tobacco for one hour after treatment
    • Avoid soaking in water for one hour after treatment

A typical treatment
As with all treatments at Acceleration Physiotherapy, your physio will begin with a thorough assessment. Once this is complete, and your therapist has determined that acupuncture is an appropriate form of treatment for you, the following steps will occur:

    1. Insertion | Your therapist will insert between 4-6 needles at various points in your body on your first visit. More needles may be added during subsequent visits.
    2. Manipulation | Your therapist will gently move the needles in order to adjust the flow of qi. They may also add electrical pulses to the needles.
    3. Removal | Your therapist will gently remove the needles after 15-30 minutes. There is generally no discomfort as the needles are removed.

Results
Patients often experience relief, relaxation, and/or an energy boost after an appointment. You will likely need to attend a few treatments before substantial, long-lasting results are apparent. Of course, every patient’s health situation is different, meaning there will be some variance in the number of treatments you may need. At Acceleration Physiotherapy, acupuncture is typically used in conjunction with a comprehensive rehab plan.

Read on below for more answers to frequently asked questions about this form of treatment

Acupuncture

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Acupuncture FAQs

Are there side effects?

Acupuncture Canada explains that “acupuncture is a safe and effective treatment with very few adverse effects and complications from its use.” It goes on to cite the York Acupuncture Safety Study, which was a prospective study of 34,407 acupuncture treatments. In the study, researchers saw “no serious adverse effects and only 43 cases of mild adverse effects”.

Are there different types of acupuncture?

Physiotherapy Alberta describes the two different approaches to acupuncture, which may overlap: “Traditional Chinese acupuncture is based on a belief that the needles stimulate energy flow in the body. Western medical acupuncture adapts the traditional Chinese approach and applies a scientific method to understand and explain its effects.” Treatments at Acceleration Physiotherapy will be based primarily on anatomical/western medical acupuncture.

All forms of acupuncture are different from dry needling, which we also offer at our clinic. Click here for more information on this form of treatment.

Am I a candidate for acupuncture?

While acupuncture can support recovery for a variety of issues, this modality is not for everyone. As always, your therapist will conduct a thorough assessment before determining if needling is an appropriate part of your treatment plan. Acupuncture may be ruled out if you’re pregnant, have epilepsy/seizures, suffer from an overwhelming fear of needles, have a bleeding disorder, or have a pacemaker.

If you have any questions about whether this treatment is right for you or if you’d like to book a physiotherapy appointment at Acceleration Physiotherapy, please get in touch!

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