Acupuncture is a modality that works well in conjunction with manual therapy and exercise to provide an integrated therapeutic approach to the treatment of pain, headaches and a variety of neuromuscular disorders.
What is acupuncture?
Acupuncture is a therapeutic method used to encourage natural healing, reduce or relieve pain and improve function of affected areas of the body. It involves the insertion of very fine needles through the skin and tissue at specific parts of the body, targeting specific points along meridian pathways. Although acupuncture is a component of ancient traditional Chinese medicine, it is widely used in the west.
How does it work?
The effects of acupuncture on the human body are well researched and include muscle relaxation, pain modulation, as well as anatomic (organ), neuroendocrine (gland), and immune responses. When an organ, nerve, muscle or other tissue is diseased, a reflex mechanism refers pain, sensitivity and muscle contraction to the body’s acupuncture points. During acupuncture, changes occur locally at the site of the needle to increase blood flow, relax oxygen-deficient muscles and release endorphins, the body’s natural painkillers. Acupuncture also activates the body’s pain modulatory system, changing the processing and perception of pain in the brain and spinal cord to produce pain relief.
Are there any side effects?
Acupuncture is a very safe modality, however the following are possible side effects that may be experienced:
- Minor bleeding or bruising
- Temporary aggravation of symptoms (in less than 3% of patients)
- Fainting (can occur in certain patients, particularly on the first treatment)
- More serious complications can include:
At Ross Rehabilitation, we only use sterile, disposable needles in our clinic to minimize risk of infection.
For more information visit Acupuncture Canada: www.acupuncturecanada.org