What is Acupuncture?
Acupuncture was once a form of Eastern medicine that was unique to physicians who specialized in Asian medicinal practices; however it has grown in popularity in the past century and is being widely practiced today within Western Medical practices. It has been recognized as being a highly effective tool for supporting injury recovery, mobility issues and in treating chronic pain
Traditionally, Acupuncture was known to stimulate the balance and flow of Qi energy that in Traditional Chinese Medicine is considered essential to health. When the body is healthy, Qi (pronounced chee), flows smoothly through the meridians that make up a conceptual network of pathways throughout the entire body.
When the balance or flow of Qi is deficient or obstructed it may be diseased or susceptible to illness. Acupuncture treats both the symptoms and the root causes of the patient’s illness.
In Physiotherapy practice, one highly safe and effective use for acupuncture is the treatment of muscle tension. Muscle tightness can be a vicious cycle. It causes pain on its own and can also result in other parts of the body tensing up in anticipation of that pain. Many patients find acupuncture helpful for both decreasing pain and relaxing the body overall.
Unfortunately, too many people turn to the use of medications for pain management to ease tension in their muscles. However, this is not a long-term solution, and many medications have side effects. Acupuncture is an ancient, safe, and effective alternative to medication and, in some cases, surgery.
Acupuncture works by stimulating natural pain-relieving chemicals in the body, including a combination of endorphins and neurotransmitters. It does this through the insertion of needles into specific anatomical points (acupuncture points) to encourage natural healing. The release of these chemicals triggers the pain receptors in the brain to experience less pain. Then, by stimulating blood flow to the area experiencing muscle tension, acupuncture also helps to heal that area of the body as increased circulation in an injured area naturally speeds recovery. By releasing natural painkillers in the body, acupuncture needles help short-circuit the loop of pain, and stiffness from anticipating pain.
Therapeutic effects include:
- Pain relief
- Increased energy
- Improved mood
- Improved body function
Read more at Acupuncture Canada
Acupuncture with Our Physiotherapists
Our physiotherapists have received training and certification in acupuncture for physical rehabilitation.
This allows them to incorporate specific acupuncture points into their physiotherapy treatment sessions if they believe it will benefit the patient (and the patient consents to it). They use acupuncture in this way to help decrease pain and inflammation, and to promote tissue healing and optimal nerve and muscle function.
Our Physiotherapists do not use acupuncture in ways or for conditions that fall outside of their scope of practice. When acupuncture is provided by physiotherapists who are not Registered Acupuncturists, the service is reimbursable as ‘physiotherapy’ under extended health insurance plans, not under ‘acupuncture’ coverage.