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Traditional Chinese Medicine

Acupuncture Treatment needle on a patient's arm.
Acupuncture Therapy on the body's arm.

What is Acupuncture?

As a treatment, (Chinese) acupuncture is one of the 4 main modalities in Traditional Chinese Medicine. An acupuncture therapist places needles carefully and accurately along meridians (or channels), which are longitudinal planes of tissue corresponding to various body organs.

Each Meridian has its own usages. Therefore the pattern of the body’s signs and symptoms determine those selected during treatment. They also contain corresponding points with more precise indications (or usages) used in a more specific manner to each syndrome.

Inserted in the skin along these meridians, the needles strengthen and regulate the body’s own energy or expel pathogenic energy.

It is the job of the acupuncture therapist to select the correct points to create both an effective and efficient recovery, after the diagnosis.

What is Acupuncture for?

Acupuncture is used for common disorders and problems such as:

  • Neck Pain
  • Lower Back Pain
  • Knee Pain
  • Migraines
  • Menstrual discomfort or pain
  • Hormonal or Metabolic imbalances
  • Digestive problems
  • Inflammation

Muscle pain and joint restrictions commonly accompany visceral dysfunctions. Often, the overlap within our body is the cause. More specifically, the overlap of the nervous system in innervating both muscles and soft tissues with the innervation of organs and glands. In part, this intertwined nature of the different structures and tissues of the body causes the clinical picture to become confusing and makes issues more difficult to treat.

Book a consultation with our acupuncturist to determine if this is the best treatment for YOU. You don’t need to know which treatment you need but rather just a list of your problems and goals.

In consideration of the above, a holistic view of the body plays an imperative role to examine the structures and tissues of the body in their concerted function (rather than their isolated function).

As part of a holistic paradigm, Chinese acupuncture treatment efficacy increases even more combined with Herbal Prescription, Tuina, Qigong meditation, exercise and Medicated Diet.

What can I expect from an Acupuncture Treatment?

Will it hurt?

In general, acupuncture is relatively painless and may not feel like anything more than a pinch of the skin. The needles are the width of just a couple hairs which is much smaller than that of needles to draw blood or give injections. Furthermore, the intention of the needles is not to draw blood and are not inserted into the blood vessels.

Note: In some cases, a patient may arrive with zones of allodynic tissue (area with sensation of pain where there should not be pain). Several factors may elicit pain: a needle, palpation or possibly no stimulation at all! Potential causes are trauma to a specific peripheral nerve (eg. a pinched nerve) or central upregulation of the autonomic nervous system (eg. excessive coffee consumption, emotional upset, poor sleep, etc.). In such cases, treatment aims to restore balance to the tissues.

Are the needles clean? Is the procedure sanitary?

The needles for acupuncture are sterile, one-time use filiform needles. They are not reused after being withdrawn and are disposed of safely after usage. The procedure is compliant with the CNT (clean needle technique) standards which the NCCAOM set forward. The proper cleaning of the selected areas avoid infection by both the acupuncture therapist or by cross-contamination from one area of the patient to another. In addition, careful handling of the disposal of the waste materials protects the acupuncturist and the patient.

Will there be bruising and potential tissue damage?

Placed in strategic points along the meridians, the needles avoid major blood vessels or nerves. From the classics of Chinese Medicine: the needles are not inserted into vital structures but in fact into the space created around them. Therefore, properly performed acupuncture does not lead to any sustained injury. This concept differentiates traditional Chinese Medicine Acupuncture from modern dry needling. In traditional Chinese Acupuncture, gross bruising is not common during treatment. Note: People most at risk for bruising are hemophiliacs, anemics, and people on blood thinners.

Once the needles are in place, muscle tension and pain decrease by a noticeable amount. Often, people will deeply relax and even sleep at this time. Treatment procedure recommends to not move the limbs nor disturb the needles, which can be left in for 10 minutes to 30 minutes. In some cases, the removal of the needles may occur soon after insertion. It all depends on the responsiveness of the body and its tissues to the acupuncture session!