Acupuncture

 

Acupuncture is a therapeutic method utilized to relieve or reduce pain and stimulate natural healing. The method involves the insertion of very fine needles into specific acupuncture points that have been mapped out on the body. There is no injection of any foreign substance and the needle merely acts a form of stimulation to the nervous system. An electrical current ( electro-acupuncture ) may or may not be added for additional stimulation. Our bodies natural pain modulation process is stimulated in this fashion. Scientific studies have shown an increase in the endorphin levels in our body following acupuncture. Endorphins are our natural "pain killers". Normally there is no or little discomfort with the procedure.

The acupuncture is performed by our physiotherapists who have taken post-graduate training in acupuncture which has been approved by our provincial regulatory body. Our athletic therapist is also trained and certified to practice acupuncture. Overall, acupuncture is a very safe procedure and can be extremely effective even when traditional medical intervention has failed.

Although the use of acupuncture can be used for a number of medical problems, physiotherapists only use acupuncture for the reduction of pain and stimulation of healing.

Common conditions treated with acupuncture include:

  • Chronic Pain

  • Myofascial Pain

  • Sprains and Strains

  • Osteoarthritis

  • Headaches

  • TMJ Syndrome/Dysfunction

  • Repetitive Strain Injuries i.e tendonitis

  • Low Back and Neck Pain

  • Neuralgias and Palsy

Please consult your therapist if you question whether acupuncture may be of benefit to you.

What to Expect?

A typical acupuncture session will be the insertion of the needles with the patient in a comfortable position. The needles are usually left in place for 15 - 20 minutes. Typically there is little discomfort although a mild ache around the site of needle insertion may occur and can be beneficial and is known as the " chi ". Acupuncture needles are extremely fine and made from stainless steel. The needles are sterile and disposable to reduce the risk of infection. Although it is not effective with everyone, it has been found to be effective in approximately 80% of patients. Pain relief may be immediate, occur in a few hours or even the next day. Sometimes repetitive sessions are required for a cumulative effect. Typically within 3 sessions it can be determined if the treatment will be effective. Many report feeling very relaxed following acupuncture and this is due to elevated endorphin levels. If possible, the patient is asked to rest for following treatment and avoid strenuous activity. For optimal results patients are asked to avoid substances which can stimulate or depress the nervous system i.e. sedatives, nicotine, alcohol, caffeine, etc.. Patients are advised to take their pain medication as normal.

What does it Cost?

Acupuncture is usually performed as a regular physiotherapy visit. In addition to the regular treatment fee an extra $5 tray fee is charged to cover the costs of acupuncture. WCB and MPI cover some acupuncture treatments.