Acupuncture is a treatment technique to reduce or relieve pain, encourage healing and improve function. It has been used for hundreds of years in Traditional Chinese Medicine and more recently is gaining popularity in Western medicine. Acupuncture is the practice of inserting thin needles into specific points in the body. It is safe and effective and is often used as an alternative to medications and even surgery. Acupuncture produces changes in nerves, muscles, connective tissue, hormones and circulation. By stimulating specific points, acupuncture releases the body’s own painkillers: endorphin and serotonin.
At Integral Physiotherapy & Sports Clinic in downtown Edmonton, our therapists use this holistic technique to treat a wide variety of diseases, pain, and stress-related symptoms. Acupuncture impacts the muscular, skeletal, neurological, digestive, respiratory, urinary and reproductive systems. It is most effective when used in combination with therapeutic exercise, traditional physiotherapy and manual therapy.
I’ve been to Integral physiotherapy for the last few weeks and it was definitely a game changer for me. Shout out to Kate for the initial assessment and giving me the right exercises to reduce my chronic pain. Other places I have been to usually just put the Tens machine for twenty minutes and tells me I’m good to go after that. I would recommend this place to anyone and go see Kate! Friendly staff as well!
How does acupuncture work?
Acupuncture is a safe, effective treatment for pain that can be used to treat people of all ages. The stimulation of specific meridian and channels on the body has the ability to alter various biochemical and physiological conditions. Acupuncture causes the release of endorphins, which are the body’s natural pain-relieving hormones, which promotes a decrease in inflammation, increased circulation and reduced pain.
What conditions does acupuncture treat?
Research indicates that acupuncture is very effective at treating a variety of disorders including:
- Painful muscle conditions and injuries such as shoulder pain and ligament sprains
- Hip and knee osteoarthritis
- Neck pain
- Chronic low back pain
- Headaches (migraines and tension)
- Pelvic and low back pain in pregnancy
- Tendonitis and bursitis
- Frozen shoulder
- TMJ dysfunction
- Cancer-related fatigue
What should I expect from an acupuncture treatment?
The results from acupuncture vary based on your condition, treatment goals and the number & location of the needles. Some clients notice the effects of treatment on their first visit, while others may need up to 8 treatment to see better results. Your Integral therapist will regularly check your progress to ensure that acupuncture is helping you.
Is acupuncture safe?
Acupuncture is a safe and effective treatment with very few adverse effects and complications. Studies show only causes of mild adverse effects, with the most common being nausea and fainting. Integral therapists use single-use, sterile disposable needles and have been trained regarding precautions and contraindications to acupuncture. Edmonton residents trust Integral to deliver professional, effective solutions for a wide range of injuries and other physical challenges.
How to reduce the risk of complications?
Despite the risk of complications from acupuncture being limited, there are a few precautions clients can perform:
- Show up well rested to your appointment
- Abstain from alcohol and smoking for at least 1 hour following your appointment
- Eat before your appointment
- Inform your therapist of any concerns such as fear of needles or a past experience where you have fainted
- Let your therapist know if you experience any nausea, dizziness, shortness of breath or pain
- Follow your therapist’s advice about positioning and movement during treatment
- Tell your therapist of any changes to medication
- Communicate with your therapist throughout the treatment
For more visit the Acupuncture Foundation of Canada Institute website.