What is Accupuncture ?
Acupuncture is an alternative medicine methodology originating in ancient China that treats patients by manipulating very thin, solid needles that have been inserted into acupuncture points in the skin. According to Traditional Chinese medicine, stimulating these points can correct imbalances in the flow of qi (energy) through channels known as meridians.
Origins of Acupuncture
Acupuncture originates from China and has been practiced there for thousands of years. Although there are records of acupuncture being used hundreds of years ago in Europe, it was during the second half of the twentieth century it began to spread rapidly in Western Europe, the United States and Canada.
How does acupuncture work?
Traditional Chinese medicine explains that health is the result of a harmonious balance of Yin and Yang, the energetic life force known as qi or chi. Qi (energy) is said to flow through meridians (pathways) in the human body. Through 350 acupuncture points in the body, these meridians and energy flows may be accessed. Illness and pain is said to be the consequence of an imbalance of the forces causing a deficiency, excess or blockage energy in meridians. The needles help bring back the proper balance of energy that passes thru the acupuncture point which will help restore health. This encourages natural healing, improve mood/energy, reduce pain and normalize function of the body
What are the benefits of acupuncture?
The benefits of acupuncture are:
- There are very few side effects
- It is a very effective combination treatment along with Physiotherapy and Massage Therapy
- It is effective in controlling pain
- It may be considered for patients who do not respond to pain medications
- It is a useful alternative for patients who do not want to take pain medications
- Great for treating headaches, stress, anxiety
- Improve sleeping pattern. This is crucial because if you can sleep properly, you will be able to recover better and feel less pain which translates to reduce stress and anxiety. Most patients will come back and say that they had a great night of sleep after acupuncture treatment.
- Takes the edge out pain to allow the therapist to perform manual therapy techniques more comfortably and effectively
- There are many more benefits. To learn more, please speak to your therapist.
The needles we use are high-quality single-use sterile disposable needles made in Germany and Japan. The clinic uses these needles because they are one of the nicest needles in the market. This particular brand of needles are “patient friendly” meaning they are great for patients who are more sensitive to needles. A lot of the time, you do not even feel the needles. Also note that acupuncture needles are not like the needles that you get when you have a vaccination shot. They are much smaller and thinner. The needles are used once and disposed at the pharmacy. $3-5 dollars will usually be charged for the cost of these high quality needles and for its disposal.
Please inform us if the following applies to you to ensure that we treat you safely and appropriately:
- Taking Anticoagulants (Blood Thinners eg. Coumadin, Warfarin)
Instructions for Patients
a) What to do before an Acupuncture treatment:
- Have a light meal to prevent….
- Do not take any alcohol or tranquillizers for 4 hours before treatment
- Take pain medications as necessary
- Continue any other medication as prescribed by your doctor
- Do not smoke for 1 hour before treatment
- If possible, be well rested
b) What to do after an Acupuncture treatment:
- Extremely important to drink water after treatment to help flush out the toxins that get released from acupuncture treatments and to hydrate your system. Water is a source of energy. Your body needs energy for healing. Therefore, bring some water along to your session.
- If possible, rest for 2 hours after you get home
- If treatment is for a painful condition, avoid strenuous activity for 2 days after treatment, even if you are pain-free
- Take pain medication or other medication as directed by your doctor
- Do not take any alcohol or caffeine for 2 hours after treatment
- Do not smoke for 1 hour after treatment
c) What to expect from treatment
Most people get relief from acupuncture immediately, some notice improvement after a few hours, some after a few days. Some require several treatments before responding. Some do not respond….in which case we will reassess your problem and look into other treatment techniques. Occasionally symptoms become worse before they improve (temporary aggravation of symptoms) because your body is trying to reorganize/settle the change in energy. This usually lasts only 1-2 days. The number of treatments required varies with each person and condition.
In general, chronic cases may take a longer period to respond; therefore, look for increased improvement in your condition after each treatment. Recent conditions will improve more rapidly.
There is a cumulative effect with acupuncture treatment meaning each treatment session will help build on the next session.
On a rare occasion the patient may experience a small bruise and nausea.
d) What you should feel?
The sensation you feel will vary considerably from different acupuncture points. With some points, you will feel nothing at all…..some patients do not even realize that the acupuncture needle is inserted. With some points you will feel a tingle sensation, soothing dull ache, heavy sensation around the needle. This will vary depending on the tenderness of the point. Once inserted, the needles will remain there for about 20-30 minutes. The practitioner may manipulate the needles to strengthen or reduce the flow of Qi.
Please note in addition to Acupuncture, we offer other forms of treatments which can compliment the healing of your problems. These treatments include:
- Registered Massage Therapy
- Manual Therapy techniques (mobilization, manipulation, massage)
- Modalities (Ultrasound, TENS)
- Exercises and Stretches
Word of Mouth
Many patients prefer the One-to-One treatment approach we offer at Fairview Physiotherapy because it gives the patients more time with the therapist and we have plenty of time to answer and address your questions. If you know of a friend, co-worker, or family member who you feel may benefit from Acupuncture and the other treatments we provide, feel free to pass them our clinic information or grab one of our business cards to give to them. We feel that the best form of advertisement for our clinic is to treat our existing patients well and with respect. THANKS!