Acupuncture - Ancient Remedy for Modern Times
What is acupuncture?
Acupuncture is a therapeutic method used to encourage natural healing, reduce or relieve pain, and improve function of affected areas in the body. Safe and effective, it is often used as an alternative to medications or even surgery. Relief is often obtained when traditional medical therapy has failed. Acupuncture involves the insertion and placement of very fine needles through the skin and tissues at specfic points on the body. There is no injection or any substance on the needle and the treatment itself causes minimal to no discomfort.
How does it work?
Acupuncture stimulates the body to produce its own pain relieving chemicals called "endorphins" which help to block pain, reduce inflammation, promote relaxation and restore the body's own internal regulation systems. This improved energy and biochemical balance stimulates the body's natural abilities and promotes physical and emotional well being.
Does it hurt?
People experience differing sensations with acupuncture. Most patients feel only minimal discomfort as the needles are inserted; some feel no pain at all. Once the needles are in place, there should be no discomfort. Acupuncture needles are extremely fine and are made from stainless steel. Two or three acupuncture needles would easily fit inside the barrel of a regular hollow needle used for injections.
What are the clinical uses for acupuncture?
Acupuncture is very effective in treating a variety of pain disorders, both acute and chronic.
The World Health Organization has identified the benefits of acupuncture in the treatment of a wide range of medical problems including:
- Digestive Disorders: gastritis, hyperactivity, spastic bowel, constipation, diarrhea
- Respiratory Disorders: sinusitis, bronchitis, asthma
- Neurological and Muscular Disorders: headaches, neck and back pain, neuralgia, frozen shoulder, tennis elbow, tendinitis, sciatica, arthritis
- Urinary, Menstrual and Reproductive Disorders
- Addiction, Insomnia
In treating any illness or affliction, a correct diagnosis is important before any decisions are made regarding therapy. Once we have established the diagnosis, we can advise whether acupuncture is appropriate.
How long before we see results?
The number of treatments varies with each individual and the condition being treated. Fo acute problems, only a few treatments may be required. In some cases, one treatment might be sufficient. For complex or long standing conditions, two to three treatments a week for several weeks may be necessary with less treatment required as improvement occurs. Treatment sessions usually last between 15 and 30 minutes. Relief may be immediate or occur within a few hours, or after a few days.
What can I do to make my treatment the best it can be?
- EAT! Having a small meal before your treatment is essential. Acupuncture requires some energy to be used by your body. Your 'gas tank' therefore needs to have something in it to draw from.
- Avoid alcohol, caffeine, and nicotine 2 hours before and 2 hours after treatment.
- Avoid strenuous activities following treatments. Many times, patients will experience a sense of well being and relaxation that beckons a nap. Go with it and rest.
- Wear comfortable clothing - tank tops and shorts are great to access areas in the body required for acupuncture. Please note that even if your problem is not on your feet or lower legs, we may have to access those areas to generate a systemic effect for greatest results.
- Be complete with your explanations of what you are feeling and advise if there is any change in your condition, for example - Pregnancy or a new pacemaker.
Hazards / Complications?
In the practice of acupuncture, there are some risks to treatment, including, but not limited to, minor bleeding or bruising, minor pain or soreness, nausea, fainting, infection, shock, convulsions, possible perforation of internal organs or cavities, and stuck or bent needles.
Is it covered by my Provincial Health Plan or Private Insurance?
The fee for acupuncture is not covered by Manitoba Health. Many private insurance plans do have provisions for acupuncture treatment. In some cases we are able to directly bill private insurance companies for chiropractic services when the acupuncture has been provided as an adjunctive modality to chiropractic treatment. Call our office for further clarification.
We are so pleased to provide acupuncture as an alternative modality at River Park South Chiropractic by appointment only. Please call for information or to schedule your appointment - (204) 253-6995.
Dr. Audrey Toth is certified through the Acupuncture Foundation of Canada Institute which is recognized by the Manitoba Chiropractors' Association