Acupuncture is a therapeutic method used to promote healing, reduce pain and improve function. Acupuncture involves the insertion of very fine needles through the skin and tissues at various points in the body. There is significant research that supports the effectiveness and safety of Acupuncture. When used by a skilled Physiotherapist in combination with knowledge of anatomy, physiology and pathophysiology, Acupuncture can be a very effective therapeutic tool.
Our Physiotherapists at Fotis Physio & Wellness Clinic are trained and certified by the Acupuncture course at McMaster
How does Acupuncture work?
Acupuncture stimulates the body to produce its own pain-relieving chemicals called “endorphins”. These chemicals can help block pain messages, improve general relaxation of tight muscles, and restore biochemical balance in the tissues. There is also thought to be a local response in the muscles stimulated by the needles, which involves increased blood flow, reduction of inflammation and reduction of tightness in the affected muscle.
Electro acupuncture is quite similar to traditional acupuncture in that the same points are stimulated during treatment. As with traditional acupuncture, needles are inserted on specific points along the body. The needles are then attached to a device that generates continuous electric pulses using small clips. These devices are used to adjust the frequency and intensity of the impulse being delivered, depending on the condition being treated. Electro acupuncture uses two needles at time so that the impulses can pass from one needle to the other. Several pairs of needles can be stimulated simultaneously, usually for no more than 30 minutes at a time.
Are there any risks?
One of the most striking aspects of Acupuncture is that there is almost a complete absence of adverse effects and complications from its use, when employed by a trained professional.
At Fotis Physio & Wellness, we use only sterile, vacuum-sealed, disposable needles, which prevents any risk of infection and cross-contamination. There is almost never any bleeding caused by the needles because they are so fine.
Does Acupuncture hurt?
People experience different sensations with Acupuncture. Because the needles are so fine, there may only be some mild aching or tingling when the needle goes in, or there may be no perceived discomfort sat all. The goal of Acupuncture is to promote healing and relaxation; therefore, if the treatment causes you any discomfort, the needles would be removed immediately.
How many treatments are required?
The number of treatments required will vary for each patient and also depend on the condition being treated. However, it is suggested that a trial of at least 3 treatments be attempted for maximal results. For complex or chronic conditions, treatment may take between 4-6 weeks, with decreased frequency of treatments per week as the condition improves.
At Fotis Physio & Wellness, your Physiotherapist would be happy to discuss Acupuncture and its potential benefits with you.
When performed by a Physiotherapist, Acupuncture treatments are considered part of your general treatment plan. There is therefore no extra cost to you as a patient, and you can claim the treatment for insurance purposes in the same way you would any normal Physiotherapy session.