Acupuncture Services in Oakville and Burlington
For anyone recovering from a sports injury, surgery, or everyday aches and pains, rehabilitation is critical to improve function, relieve pain and get you back to optimal performance. In addition to traditional physical therapy and massage treatments, the inclusion of acupuncture in your rehabilitation plan can be a valuable consideration. Acupuncture can significantly reduce the need for prescription drugs and improve the quality of life in patients, especially those who suffer from chronic pain. Continue reading to find out what acupuncture can do for you.
What is Acupuncture?
Western medical acupuncture is an adaptation from Traditional Chinese Medicine acupuncture, and uses current knowledge of anatomy, physiology, pathology, and evidence-based medicine. It involves inserting fine, sterile needles into specific points on the body.
Acupuncture acts by stimulating the nervous system, and its known modes of action include local, peripheral, and central nervous system effects. It is mainly used for the treatment of musculoskeletal and myofascial trigger point pain.
How Does Acupuncture Work?
The exact mechanisms of how acupuncture works are still a subject of ongoing research and debate, but several theories provide insight into its potential mechanisms of action. It’s important to note that acupuncture is often seen as a holistic therapy, affecting not only specific physical symptoms but also the overall balance and well-being of the body. Some of the proposed ways acupuncture may work include:
Stimulation of Acupoints: Acupuncturists insert fine needles at specific points on the body, known as acupoints, which are believed to correspond to meridians and vital energy (Qi) pathways. The physical act of needling these points may stimulate nerve endings and sensory receptors, leading to a cascade of physiological responses.
Neurotransmitter Release: Acupuncture may trigger the release of endorphins, which are the body’s natural painkillers, as well as other neurotransmitters that affect mood and pain perception. This can contribute to pain relief and an improved sense of well-being.
Anti-Inflammatory Effects: Acupuncture is thought to reduce inflammation by promoting the release of anti-inflammatory substances in the body. This can be beneficial for conditions involving chronic inflammation, such as arthritis.
Blood Circulation: The insertion of acupuncture needles may increase blood flow to the affected areas, which can help in reducing pain and promoting healing.
Balancing Energy Flow: According to traditional Chinese medicine, acupuncture aims to balance the flow of Qi (energy) in the body. By correcting imbalances and blockages along the meridians, it is believed to restore health and well-being.
Placebo Effect: Patients often report feeling better after acupuncture treatments, even if the exact physiological mechanisms are not fully understood.
It’s important to emphasize that acupuncture’s efficacy can vary from person to person, and not all individuals experience the same benefits. Additionally, the scientific understanding of acupuncture continues to evolve, and more research is needed to provide a comprehensive explanation of how it works.
Which Conditions Can Benefit From Acupuncture?
Acupuncture has been the subject of various research studies, and there is evidence to suggest that it may be beneficial for several conditions. It’s important to note that while research supports the use of acupuncture for these conditions, individual responses can vary. Here is a list of conditions for which acupuncture has shown potential benefits in scientific studies:
- Back pain
- Neck pain
- Headaches, including migraines
- Knee pain
Acupuncture is often used in conjunction with other therapy treatments, and the specific approach and effectiveness can vary depending on the individual and the condition being addressed.
What are the Risks of Acupuncture?
While acupuncture offers a range of therapeutic benefits, it is not without its own set of considerations and potential risks that individuals should be aware of when considering this therapy.
Needle Discomfort: Some individuals may experience mild discomfort or pain at the insertion site of the needles, although this is usually temporary and minimal.
Bruising and Bleeding: Occasionally, minor bruising or bleeding may occur at the needle insertion sites.
Dizziness and Fainting: Some people may feel lightheaded or faint during or after an acupuncture session, especially if they are sensitive to needle stimulation.
Allergic Reactions: Rarely, people may experience allergic reactions to the materials used in acupuncture, such as metal needles or substances applied to the skin.
At Sheddon Physiotherapy and Sports Clinic, ensuring that your acupuncture therapy is safe and effective is a top priority. To ensure your safety and comfort, our dedicated therapists adhere to rigorous safety protocols, including stringent infection control measures, impeccable hygiene practices, and the consistent use of clean, sanitized equipment. Our commitment to your health and recovery extends beyond the treatment itself, guaranteeing a secure and effective healing environment.
If you are interested in learning more about the benefits of acupuncture, talk with one of the therapists at Sheddon Physiotherapy and Sports Clinic and see if it’s right for you and your condition. Both our clinics in Oakville and Burlington have a team of committed therapists who perform acupuncture. We serve the Oakville, Milton, Mississauga, and Burlington areas and will coordinate with your work, coaches, trainers, and fitness instructions to speed up your recovery.