What is Acupuncture?
Acupuncture is an ancient oriental medical practice used to treat illness and give pain relief. It involves the insertion of fine needles at precise sites (acupuncture points) on the body. Developed over 2500 years ago, acupuncture has stood the test of time.
Today, acupuncture is a licensed and regulated healthcare profession in three provinces in Canada, and in 33 states in the United States. Acupuncture is also one of the many skills used within our scope of practice. It can be used as part of an integrated, multi-dimensional approach to the management of pain and inflammation in order to restore normal function and movement and enhance rehabilitation.
What medical conditions can benefit from Acupuncture?
- Stress and depression.
- Headaches and migraines.
- Back and shoulder pain.
- Tennis elbow.
- Hip Pain.
- Obesity & Weight Control.
What acupuncture techniques you provide?
Our acupuncturist use single-use, pre-sterilised disposable needles of varying widths, lengths and materials that pierce the skin at the acupuncture points. Trigger point acupuncture may also be used to facilitate relaxation in specific muscles following traumas, for longer-term unresolved muscle pain, or as a means of increasing muscle length in order to aid stretch and rehabilitation.
Moxabustion is a technique used to introduce warmth into the acupuncture points, it can be done at the end of the acupuncture needle in the case of moxabustion. This enhancement has the effect of increasing the circulation, removing waste products, and reducing muscle spasm and pain.
Inserted needles can be coupled to the electrodes of an electroacupuncture machine. These units are designed to deliver variable amplitudes and frequencies of electrical impulses. Low-frequency electroacupuncture is intended to contribute to the mechanism of pain reduction, especially by stimulating chemicals in the brain that aid analgesia, relaxation and sleep.
Is Acupuncturist regulated health profession in Ontario?
Yes, Effective 1st of April, 2013, Acupuncturists and Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) Practitioners became a
regulated health profession in Ontario. The College of Traditional Chinese Medicine Practitioners and Acupuncturists of Ontario (CTCMPAO) regulates the practice of the health profession under Traditional Chinese Medicine Act, 2006 (TCM Act, 2006). For more information please visit CTCMPAO website for details.
At Pro Fusion Rehab, all of our Acupuncturists and Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) Practitioners are licensed under CTCMPAO.
Does acupuncture hurt?
Generally, acupuncture does not hurt. Some people feel the needles as they go in, and some people feel nothing. Acupuncture needles are solid needles, not hollow like hypodermic needles, and they are much, much thinner – about the diameter of a thick human hair. The needles are usually inserted into the skin in particular angles and depths depending on the areas with thorough anatomical knowledge. Acupuncture is designed to increase the flow of energy, improve circulation, and decrease tension in the designated areas; the needles bring more relief than discomfort. Patients often have sensations during the treatment, which is the Qi (or energy) moving or the opening of a channel that has been blocked.
What kinds of needles are used and are they safe?
There is little to no risk of infection when all needles are sterile. Acupuncturists use only single use, sterile disposable needles. Acupuncturists do not reuse needles, even at different areas of the body for the same person. Needles are properly deposited in a biohazard container, which ensures safe disposal.
How is acupuncture treatment carried out?
Acupuncture generally involves several weekly or fortnightly treatments. The patient will be asked to lie down, either face-up, face-down or on his/her side, depending on where the needless are inserted. The acupuncturist should use single-use disposable sterile needles. As each needle is inserted the patient should feel them, but initially without pain. Sometimes the needles are heated or stimulated with electricity after insertion. Once inserted, the needles will remain there for about twenty minutes.
What are the possible risks of acupuncture?
- It is dangerous if the patient has a bleeding disorder.
- It the dangerous if the patient is taking blood thinners.
- Electrical Stimulation should be avoided in patients with pacemakers.
- Pregnancy should be mentioned prior to receiving acupuncture treatments so that the treatment will be modified accordingly.
Are there any side effects from having Acupuncture?
Fatigue: Following a session of acupuncture the patient may feel fatigued or tired. This is actually a positive sign that the acupuncture is working. It is best that to have some rest and relaxation following a treatment.
Soreness: The body parts that have received the needles during the acupuncture session will feel sore for a few days, but residual or unexpected soreness can actually help identify trigger points or underlying medical issues.
Bruising: Most of the time bruising should not occur if the acupuncture has been properly applied, however it is a possibility and nothing to be confirmed with.
Muscle Twitch: As unpleasant and shocking, as it may be most people experience some sort of muscle twitching or spasm during or following acupuncture sessions. It is normal and we’ll check your level of comfort during the treatment process.
Light-headedness : Rarely, patients may faint after their treatment or experience extreme light-headedness. This is mainly due to the anxiety or scare of the needles. May happen in new patients and recommended that they do not stand up too quickly or leave immediately after the session.
Emotional Release: For many, acupuncture can also be an emotional experience, not just physical. Rarely patients may cry and feel a variety of emotional releases throughout the treatment.
How many treatments will I need?
This depends entirely on your personal condition, how long you have had it and how severe it is.
Can children be treated with acupuncture?
Yes, and they respond very quickly to it. In China, where acupuncture is more accepted, children get acupuncture all the time. If they are too young to want needles, then other methods such as Gua Sha (a technique of gentle pressing and scraping along the meridians), moxa and cupping can be utilized.
Is it necessary to choose between acupuncture and other types of health care?
Acupuncture is compatible with other systems of health care. We are happy to work in conjunction with you and your other health care practitioners. Please inform your acupuncturist of any other treatments and medications/herbs/supplements which you are currently using so that we may integrate our efforts. Our wish is that you receive maximum benefit from all sources.