According to Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) philosophy, an imbalance of energy or blood flow will lead to disease in the body. Acupuncture uses specially placed thin needles to improve blood circulation, stimulate endorphin release and restore the natural healing ability 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.
Contemporary Medical Acupuncture is a precise peripheral nerve stimulation technique, in which fine solid needles (acupuncture needles) are inserted into anatomically defined "neurofunctional" sites, and stimulated manually or with electricity. The therapeutic purpose is to modulate abnormal activity of the nervous system. Neuromodulation occurs at multiple levels: peripheral nerves, spinal cord, brain stem, brain and cerebellum. Contemporary Medical Acupuncture is mechanism-based, not disease-based. Therapeutic goals and treatment targets are selected based on the identified neurological dysfunctions contributing to the clinical presentation of the symptoms.
Frequently Asked Questions:
How does acupuncture work?
Several processes have been proposed to explain acupuncture’s effects, primarily those on pain. Acupuncture treatment is believed to release natural pain-killers and hormones that influence the body’s self-regulating systems; stimulate the body’s natural healing capabilities; and affect the body’s natural electromagnetic fields.
Do I have to believe in it to work?
Acupuncture is not a placebo. You do not need to “believe in” acupuncture for it to work, although a positive attitude during ANY type of therapy is probably beneficial. In general, it seems that the body wants to be healthy, and acupuncture may provide “the nudge” the body requires to do so.
What can acupuncture treat?
Acupuncture has proven to be successful in reducing stress, muscle tension and chronic pain. Acupuncture is most recognized for its role in pain management and types of pain that respond best to this treatment include: low back pain, sciatica, neck pain, headache, shoulder pain, knee pain and osteoarthritis.
What does it feel like?
Acupuncture treatment is generally quite comfortable. During the treatment you may experience sensations of mild tingling, heaviness, slight soreness or numbness along the points being stimulated.
Are the needles sterilized?
New disposable needles are used for each acupuncture treatment. The needles are very fine, flexible and rounded but sharp at the tip. Their design allows acupuncture needles to slide smoothly through tissues and makes them unlikely to cause bleeding or damage to underlying structures. Most treatments require 5-10 needles to be inserted for a period of 15 - 20 minutes.
Does acupuncture complement other therapies?
Yes. We often combine acupuncture treatment with chiropractic care and massage therapy to maximize the healing effect.
Is acupuncture covered by OHIP?
Currently there is no OHIP funding for acupuncture treatment, however most private health insurance plans provide coverage for acupuncture. Check with your insurance company to see specifics of your health care coverage plan.