Dispel the myths! Read this post and learn more about acupuncture and its many uses for various conditions.
Medical Acupuncture is something that we use very frequently at Edgar Family Chiropractic but many of our patients still may not know what it’s all about unless they have tried it themselves. We want to take the time to highlight this important therapy due to the fact that we are finding that in many cases, it is significantly improving the rate of healing in our patients.
Thanks to the media (mainly horror films), when we initially advise acupuncture as a course of treatment, some people automatically visualize being poked and prodded by hundreds of needles in their heads and faces. In fact, this could not be further from the truth and here are a few reasons why nobody should be afraid to try acupuncture. For one, acupuncture involves the insertion of just a few very thin needles into areas of the body that the doctor has specifically identified as the problem area. We use between 5-15 needles maximum during a session. Secondly, when people think of acupuncture needles they may visualize a medical needle but acupuncture needles are not at all similar to medical needles.
Acupuncture Medical needles are required to have a hole through the middle to allow for the administration of medicine. Acupuncture needles, on the other hand, do not require this and are therefore much thinner. The thickness of the acupuncture needle can be compared to a bit thicker than a single human hair. Finally, doctors of acupuncture are also trained specifically in “painless insertion”, a skill that must be perfected before licensing. All these factors lead to a very comfortable and effective treatment that can greatly speed up the rate of healing.
Speaking of acupuncture training, it should be noted that Drs. Maja and Cameron Edgar are trained differently than Traditional Chinese Medical (TCM) doctors that often practice acupuncture. There are two schools of thought when it comes to acupuncture treatment: the more traditional eastern approach where the goal of the treatment is to balance the flow of “chi” or energy through the body and the more western contemporary medical approach practised by Dr Edgar where the goal of treatment is to identify and diagnose an area of dysfunction and use acupuncture to specifically treat this area and facilitate healing. Both schools of acupuncture are great in their own right and may achieve the same results but are performed differently with different goals in mind. Drs. Maja and Cameron Edgar are licensed medical acupuncturists and received their training at the Michael G. DeGroote School of Medicine, Continuing Education department at McMaster University. This program utilizes the most current evidence through clinical trials and systematic reviews for point selections and applications.
Shifting our attention to why we would suggest acupuncture to a patient, we find that in our office we most often use it to treat musculoskeletal problems such as neck pain, shoulder pain, low back pain, joint pain, headaches, sciatica and other peripheral nervous system disturbances, osteoarthritis, and sports-related injuries to name just a few. In these cases, acupuncture works by decreasing pain through the neurological system, reducing the inflammation in the damaged tissues by improving blood circulation, and finally improving the function of our ligaments, discs, muscles, and joints so that we can move better with less pain.
There are also many more conditions for which we would recommend the use of acupuncture as either an adjunctive therapy to what we are already doing in treatment or as the sole therapy and they include:
- Digestive disorders: irritable bowel, constipation, diarrhea, and gastritis.
- Menstrual and reproductive problems: dysmenorrhea, perimenopausal symptoms, and infertility.
- Urinary tract disorders: prostatitis and bladder dysfunction.
- Respiratory problems: sinusitis, asthma, sore throat, and recurrent respiratory tract infections.
- Stress-related problems: addictions and post-traumatic stress disorder.
It should be noted that The World Health Organization recognizes its use in the treatment of all of the conditions named in this article and further details of evidence-based acupuncture can be found at https://www.evidencebasedacupuncture.org/. If you have further questions about how it works or if your specific condition would respond well to this treatment, please contact us directly at our Burlington office at 289-337-1202. We would be more than happy to provide you with a free consultation to discuss your question.