The use of acupuncture has grown in popularity over the years and is commonly used as an alternate choice of treatment. There are two main views of acupuncture; the traditional Chinese medicine and the modern view. Traditional Chinese medicine views health as a balance of qi, or “energy” that flows in meridians, or “channels” in the body. When the flow is disrupted, either by disease or injury, a disturbance of the body’s energy occurs. Acupuncture aims to correct this imbalance in the body to restore health and function.
In contrast to the traditional approach, the modern view or Contemporary Medical Acupuncture (CMA) stimulates peripheral nerves in the body to treat an injury, dysfunction and modulate pain. Research shows that CMA affects three main levels in the body; at the local tissue, at the spinal cord and at the brain.
Contemporary Medical Acupuncture affects the body in a number of ways. For example, it promotes healing by increasing blood flow to the affected area, increases strength at key areas in the persons biomechanical chain by restoring normal motor activity, promotes tissue remodelling which is needed in recovering tissues, helps to decrease pain and can also regulate the body systemically.
Frequently Asked Questions:
What will I feel?
You may feel a quick prick when the needle is first inserted into the skin. You may also feel a dull ache as well but this feeling gradually subsides. If electrical stimulation is being used, you will feel a gentle buzzing sensation as the electricity is being passed along the needles.
How deep do the needles go?
The depth of the needles is determined by a combination of the structure targeted, the sensation experienced by the patient and therapist.
How long are the needles left in place?
The needles are usually left in place for 10-20 minutes.
What kind of needles do you use?
Toronto SEMI uses sterile disposable needles only. The diameter and length of the needles vary, depending on the tissues being targeted.
How do I know if acupuncture is beneficial for me?
Contemporary Medical Acupuncture by itself and in conjunction with other forms of treatments such as physiotherapy, massage therapy or strength and conditioning may be beneficial in a wide variety of conditions. Sometimes a change may be evident after one session, other times a change may be seen after several treatments, depending on the individual and the specificity of the injury.
Acupuncture has been widely used over the years and is an effective form of treatment. Make an appointment with one of our therapists trained in acupuncture at SEMI to see if this is a suitable treatment choice for your specific needs.
Ernst, E. Acupuncture- a critical analysis. Journal of Internal Medicine 2006 259: 125-137.