he prospect of needles puncturing your skin might not initially sound like a pathway to better health.
Acupuncture is a time-honoured therapeutic technique that has stood the test of time.
It’s a practice that has been embraced for centuries to alleviate various health issues.
In this blog post, we’ll discuss the healing power of acupuncture.
We’ll explore what it entails, the mechanics behind its effectiveness, and what you can anticipate from this ancient yet ever-relevant practice.
What is Acupuncture?
Acupuncture is a holistic healing practice that originates from ancient Chinese medicine.
It involves the insertion of thin needles into specific points on your body, known as acupuncture points. These points are believed to be pathways for energy flow, or Qi (pronounced “chee”), in the body.
The philosophy behind acupuncture is based on balance and harmony within the body.
According to traditional Chinese medicine, an imbalance or blockage in the flow of Qi can lead to various health issues and symptoms.
How Does Acupuncture Work?
The precise mechanisms underlying acupuncture are still a subject of ongoing research and debate.
Several theories help explain how acupuncture may work:
1. Meridian System and Qi Flow
Traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) is based on the concept of the body’s meridian system, which consists of energy pathways through which Qi flows.
Acupuncture points are believed to be located along these meridians.
Acupuncture aims to unblock or rebalance the flow of Qi, which is considered essential for health and well-being.
2. Neurotransmitter Release
Inserting acupuncture needles into specific points can stimulate nerve endings, sending signals to the brain.
This stimulation may release neurotransmitters like endorphins (natural painkillers) and serotonin (a mood regulator). These substances can promote pain relief and an improved sense of well-being.
3. Blood Flow Regulation
Acupuncture has been shown to influence blood flow.
By stimulating certain acupuncture points, blood circulation can be improved, which may aid in reducing inflammation, promoting tissue healing, and enhancing overall health.
4. Modulation of the Autonomic Nervous System
Acupuncture can influence the autonomic nervous system (ANS). The ANS controls involuntary bodily functions such as heart rate, digestion, and stress responses.
By balancing the sympathetic (fight-or-flight) and parasympathetic (rest-and-digest) branches of the ANS, acupuncture may help alleviate stress, anxiety, and other related conditions.
5. Pain Gate Control Theory
Acupuncture may block pain signals by stimulating large-diameter, non-painful nerve fibres, which can close the “gate” that allows pain signals to reach the brain.
This mechanism can explain why acupuncture is often effective for pain management.
What Should You Expect During an Acupuncture Session?
Your acupuncturist will start by asking questions about your medical history, lifestyle, and any specific health concerns or issues you may have. This information helps them tailor the treatment to your individual needs.
Once the treatment plan is established, the acupuncturist will ask you to lie on a comfortable table.
They will then insert thin needles into specific points on your body.
Don’t worry! The needles used in acupuncture are very fine, and most people only experience minimal discomfort, if any at all.
As the needles are inserted, many patients report a dull ache or tingling sensation around the needle site. This is completely normal and indicates that the energy flow within your body is being activated.
Once all the needles are in place (typically between five and 20), they will be left there for about 15-30 minutes while you relax with soothing music playing in the background.
Afterward, when it’s time for needle removal, most people don’t notice it happening since there is usually no pain involved.
Some individuals might experience mild bruising or soreness at certain needle sites, but these effects are usually temporary and disappear quickly.
Acupuncture and Physiotherapy Available in Oshawa
At MN Physiotherapy Clinic, we provide acupuncture as a complement to our physiotherapy offerings since it has the potential to alleviate pain and discomfort, enhance the healing process, and enhance overall functionality.
As the premier physiotherapy clinic in Oshawa, our comprehensive range of treatments addresses various issues such as sports injuries, back pain, workplace injuries, knee discomfort, and more.
We are dedicated to crafting a personalized plan tailored to your unique needs, ensuring a quicker path to recovery.