What is Acupuncture, and how does it work?

Acupuncture is based on a traditional Chinese medicine technique that involves
the insertion of thin needles into various parts of the body following meridians or
energy flows throughout the body. Acupuncture is used to balance the body’s
energy flow called Qi (pronounced Chi). In Chinese medicine, it is believed that the
disruption of Qi is a major cause of illness and disease.

Acupuncture uses sterile, stainless steel, one-time use small needles that are
inserted into various parts of the body at various depths. It can range from about
half an inch to 3 inches! They are typically inserted for 15-30 minutes at a time.
Most of the time, patients do not feel the needles being inserted, but sometimes
there can be a mild pinch/burn on insertion.

What does acupuncture do?

Acupuncture stimulates nerves, muscles, and connective tissues which helps alleviate pain and dysfunction. When acupuncture needles are inserted, it signals the body to react. Which can increase circulation to the areas that are being needled. This can help in the healing process, and release muscles, and soft tissue tension. Acupuncture may also help with the release of certain hormones including cortisol (regulates inflammation) and endorphins (pain relief).

Acupuncture also works on the sympathetic (fight or flight) and parasympathetic (rest and relax) nervous system by either engaging or disengaging either system
to help regulate the body. Sometimes, the acupuncture needles are hooked up to small electrical currents, called electroacupuncture, which can compound the effects.

What can acupuncture help with?

Headaches and migraines
Chronic pain
Arthritis and joint pain
Anxiety and depression
Tennis/golfers elbow
Rotator cuff tendonopathy
Achilles tendonopathy
Low back pain
Neck pain
Jaw pain

What are the benefits of acupuncture?

Can treat multiple areas and conditions in one visit/session
Medication free
Can improve mood
Promotes relaxation
Low risk

What are the risks of acupuncture?

minor bruising/bleeding at insertion site
general soreness at insertion site pneumothorax in extremely rare cases

If you have never tried acupuncture before or have any questions, our
physiotherapist Carly, who performs acupuncture can let you know how it may
benefit you!