Many health practitioners recommend acupuncture as a treatment option for patients’ chronic pain conditions, and the response is often the same: “Needles? No way.”
We get it. The idea of getting stuck with a bunch of needles sounds pretty counter-intuitive in terms of pain relief. No one likes getting needles from the doctor, never mind getting a bunch at once from a lady telling you to relax. These needles are different from what you’re used to seeing. For starters, they’re only about as thick as a strand of human hair.
Put away the idea that your whole body is going to be stuck with needles at a time. Often, the number of needles used at once will range from 3 and 15, strategically placed in specialized areas called ‘meridians’. The idea is that your body has its own map grid with areas that act as trigger points for other regions of the body, so by stimulating the right place along the meridian, you can effectively generate change in the designated area. For instance, a needle placed in one part of the wrist can serve as a remedy to nausea, but can work towards back pain in another part of the wrist. How deep the needles go can vary from less than a quarter of an inch to three inches. Plus, since the needles are so thin, most of the time you don’t even notice they’re there.
Depending on which school of thought you identify with, you can say that acupuncture unblocks the flow of energy in your body, or that it encourages the body to produce pain-relieving endorphins and other neurotransmitters that improve your immune function. Sometimes the acupuncturist will combine the use of heat or electrotherapy to her practice to further stimulate or relax the areas she works on. Keep in mind that acupuncture isn’t just for muscle aches and pains; it can have tremendous benefits for headaches, digestive troubles, gynaecological issues, and more.
Finally, acupuncture is safe. At Pro Fusion Rehab, our licensed acupuncturists from CTCMPAO only use needles that are sterile and packaged for individual, and discarded after treatment. A few little needles can do a whole lot of good.