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. Acupuncture is safe and effective and is often successfully used as an alternative to medication or even surgery. Relief is often obtained when traditional medical therapy has failed.

Acupuncture involves the insertion of very fine needles through the skin and tissues at specific points on the body. There is no injection of any substance and the treatment itself causes minimal discomfort. The insertion and skillful manipulation of the needles elevates endorphin levels leading to increased circulation; initiating an immune response that helps target the cause of discomfort and pain.

Acupuncture has been used in parts of Asia for over 2500 years, and continues to be mainstream medicine for over 1 billion people (that’s one seventh of the world’s population). This ancient form of healing has been modernized in the last 200 hundred years and, even more recently, is being integrated into Western medical practices. Its ability to manage pain from musculoskeletal injury or imbalance has been clearly demonstrated, and its complementary application to many other conditions has been repeatedly demonstrated in clinical practice.

Acupuncture is used to encourage natural healing, improve mood and energy, reduce or relieve pain and improve function of affected areas of the body. It is safe and effective and is often successfully used as an alternative to medications or even surgery. Relief is often obtained with acupuncture when traditional medical therapy has failed.

Many types of health-care providers now utilize acupuncture in clinical practice, including chiropractors, physiotherapists, and medical doctors. A natural result of this trend has been a continuing integration of acupuncture into a Western medicine model. Utilizing a blend of ancient methods and modern biomedical concepts, practitioners of many disciplines are regularly incorporating acupuncture treatment not only as a stand-alone therapy, but as an integrated modality in a variety of health-care environments.


What is Medical Acupuncture?

Medical Acupuncture is the biomedical adaptation of Chinese acupuncture methods, and is an effective and simple treatment approach based on current concepts of neurophysiology, neuroanatomy, and pathophysiology. As in traditional acupuncture, Medical Acupuncture involves insertion of solid needles at relevant points on the body in combination with manual needle stimulation or electrical stimulation. Medical Acupuncture does not involve tongue or pulse diagnosis. Rather, a diagnosis is attained through thorough history taking and physical examination. Based on this process, anatomical points that are relevant to the condition are selected for needling.


What is Electro-acupuncture?

Acupuncture needles are electrically stimulated by various frequencies and voltages by attachment to a battery-powered machine using wires with small clips on the ends. Low frequency stimulation (2-4 Hz) results in a slow onset of pain relief that outlasts the treatment for hours to days and is often cumulative by repeating treatments. High frequency stimulation (80-200 Hz) results in a pain-blocking effect that is fast in onset but does not usually outlast the stimulation. The benefits of electro-acupuncture can include, but are not limited to:

  • pain relief
  • decreased swelling
  • muscle relaxation
  • breaking down scar tissue
  • pain modulation and endorphin release
  • changes in autonomic nervous system activity (vasomotor tone, cardiac rhythm, peristalsis etc.)
  • diverse neuroendocrine and immune responses
  • general relaxation
  • a feeling of psychophysical well being
  • improved sleep
  • nausea relief during chemotherapy

What conditions can acupuncture treat?

You will probably be surprised to find out the wide variety of conditions that acupuncture can treat. Though the most common reason in the Western world to visit an acupuncturist is for pain and stress relief, there are hundreds of conditions that a qualified Acupuncturist can treat effectively. The World Health Organization lists 40 conditions, which may effectively be treated by Chinese medical methods. These include:

Infections: Colds and Flu, Bronchitis, Hepatitis

Internal: Hypoglycemia, Asthma, High Blood Pressure, Ulcers, Colitis, Indigestion, Hemorrhoids, Diarrhea, Constipation, Diabetes

Ears, Eyes, Nose, Throat: Deafness, Ringing in Ears, Earaches, Poor Eyesight, Dizziness, Sinus Infection, Sore Throat, Hay Fever

Dermatological: Eczema, Acne, Herpes

Musculo-Skeletal & Neurological: Arthritis, Neuralgia, Sciatica, Back Pain, Bursitis, Tendonitis, Stiff Neck, Bell’s Palsy, Trigeminal Neuralgia, Headache, Stroke, Cerebral Palsy, Polio, Sprains

Genito-Urinary & Reproductive: Impotence, Infertility, Pre-Menstrual Syndrome, Pelvic Inflammatory Disease, Vaginitis, Irregular Period, Cramps, Morning Sickness

Mental-Emotional: Anxiety, Stress, Depression, Insomnia


Why should I choose Medical Acupuncture?

Acupuncture can be very effective for treating both acute injuries and chronic conditions. When utilized by a trained health-care professional, it is very safe. Although acupuncture may help with many conditions and injuries, it will not cure a serious underlying problem, such as lung disease, heart disease, tumors or cancers. Therefore, it is imperative that you continue to consult your medical doctor, and maintain all essential medical treatment if you have a serious medical problem. A medical acupuncture provider will be able to discuss your medical problems, understand the results of medical tests, and understand what medication you are taking and why – so be sure to inform them of this information.