What is acupuncture?
The term acupuncture means needle (“Acu”) Insertion (“Puncture”). The treatment involves stimulation of the acupuncture points located along the meridians, which are the energy pathways in one’s body.
These hundreds of acupuncture points are known as “gates” along the channels. Each channel is related to a specific organ or system in one’s body.
Acupuncture is a therapeutic method used to encourage natural healing, reduce or relieve pain and improve function of affected areas of the body. Acupuncture is safe and effective and is often successful used as an alternative to medications. Relief is often obtained when traditional medical therapy has failed. “Classical” acupuncture was developed in China as a system of diagnosing and treating pain and disease.
Modern technology has allowed variations in acupuncture treatment.
- Electro-acupuncture involves stimulations of inserted needles with gentle electrical impulses.
- Rubber electrodes or moistened cotton-tipped applicators can also be used to deliver electrical stimulation to acupuncture points.(transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulations or T.E.N.S)
- Low power laser may also be used instead of needles to stimulate appropriate points.
Acupuncture stimulates the body to produce its own pain relieving chemicals called “endorphins”. These chemicals mimic morphine by attaching to opiate receptor sites found throughout the nervous system. Endorphins help to block pathways that relay pain messages from the body to the brain, resulting in relief of pain, general relaxation and biochemical restoration of the body’s own internal regulations systems.
The improved energy and biochemical balance produced by acupuncture stimulates the body’s natural healing abilities, reducing inflammation and promoting physical and emotional well-being.
Acupuncture treatment is based upon the principle that interruption of the flow of energy of “Chi” in the channel results in illness.
In the treatment of a systematic disease, stimulation of the appropriate acupuncture points will regulate the flow of such energy and normalize the psychological function of the involved organs and system.
For the management of pain symptoms, acupuncture stimulates the body to produce its own pain relieving chemicals. The chemicals block the pain message from the injured body parts to one’s brain and decreases the amount of pain experienced.
In the case of muscular disorders, stimulations of the local points in the muscle will also enhance muscle function by balancing the level of energy.
How is acupuncture performed?
As the term implies, the treatment involves insertion of fine stainless steel acupuncture needles of varying length through the skin and tissues at specific points. The trained therapist further manipulates the needle to stimulate the points to achieve the desired effect.
Selection of the points and number of the points used by the therapist depends on the diagnoses of the client and his/her tolerance.
The therapist may use cupping and herb Moxa in conjunction with acupuncture to achieve the best therapeutic effect.
Precaution: If you are receiving acupuncture treatment you should let the treating therapist know if you have a history of fainting with needle insertion, skin allergy, non-controlled high blood pressure, anemia, or have a pacemaker. Women in early pregnancy should be treated with caution.
Does it hurt?
People often experience different sensations with acupuncture. Most patients feel only minimal discomfort as the needles are inserted: some feel no pain at all. Once the needles are in place there should be no significant discomfort.
How many treatments will be required?
The number of treatments will vary with each individual and the condition being treated. For acute problems, only a few treatments may be required. In some cases, one treatment will be sufficient.
For complex or longstanding conditions, 1 or 2 treatments a week for several weeks may be recommended with less frequent treatment as improvement occurs. Treatment sessions usually last about 15 to 30 minutes.
Relief may be immediate or occur within a few hours, or after a few days.
In some conditions, several sessions may be required before improvement is noticed.
80-90% percent of patients respond well to acupuncture with noticeable improvement.
Acupuncture can be used as the only form of therapy or it may be combined successfully with other forms of medical or physical therapy.
Is there any special advice to follow before an acupuncture treatment?
A puncture treatment can be done at any time. Patients are advised not to eat unusually large meals before or after the treatment. It is best to avoid alcohol or sedatives four hours prior to treatment, pain medications may be taken as required.
How about after treatment?
If possible, a short test after treatment is desirable, but not essential. Some patients feel unusually relaxed and prefer to plan activities accordingly. Strong exercise is not recommended immediately after treatment.
For painful conditions, avoid strenuous activity for 48 hours after treatment. Alcohol and ideally caffeine and cigarettes should be avoided for at least two hours. Medication as directed by your physician may be taken as required.
Appointments can be made by calling the clinic directly 905-455-0800 or dropping by in person at 247 McMurchy Avenue South, Brampton, ON L6Y 1Z4