Acupuncture is a type of treatment which promotes natural healing and works to improve the functioning of your body. Tiny solid needles called acupuncture needles are inserted at very precise spots and often electrical stimulation is added to further enhance the natural healing process. There are two types of acupuncture, Traditional Chinese and Contemporary Medical.
Traditional Chinese acupuncture is based on the idea that there are as many as 2,000 acupuncture points which are all connected by 20 pathways called meridians. Meridians conduct energy or qi (chi) between the body’s surface and all of our internal organs. Each acupuncture point has a different effect on the qi that passes through it. The theory is that Qi helps to regulate balance in the body by opposing forces of yin and yang or positive and negative forces in the body. Traditional Chinese acupuncture is believed to keep the balance between yin and yang, therefore allowing for a normal flow of qi throughout the body to restore health.
Alternatively, Contemporary medical acupuncture takes a more modern scientific approach to stimulate the nervous system. By stimulating the nervous system through needling specific acupuncture points, there is a release of chemicals into the muscles, spinal cord and brain. These chemicals will either help to alter the experience of pain or trigger the release of other chemicals and hormones to encourage the body’s natural healing process.
Here at Edgar Family Chiropractic in Burlington, Dr. Cameron and Maja Edgar are trained in Contemporary Medical Acupuncture. They believe that acupuncture offers a great way to promote physical and emotional well-being. They are highly trained and would love to help you reach optimal health through their acupuncture treatment in Burlington.
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 head and face. 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 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 practiced 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 we 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 the use of acupuncture in the treatment of all of the conditions named in this article. If you have further questions about how acupuncture 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.
Trigger points are irritable, hard “knots” within a muscle that may cause pain over a large area, leading to difficulty performing everyday tasks. Here is an article to show how acupuncture can help.
Dry Needling Help Trigger Points by Edgar Family Chiropractic on Pearl on Scribd
What is Medical Acupuncture?
Medical Acupuncture is a simple and effective treatment approach based on current concepts of neurophysiology, neuroanatomy, and pathophysiology. Insertion of solid metal needles and the use of electrical stimulation are the foundation of this approach. Medical Acupuncture is generally provided by chiropractors, physiotherapists and medical doctors who use it as a tool to complement their regular practices.
How does Acupuncture Work?
Acupuncture stimulates your body’s natural healing mechanisms, helping to restore physical and mental balance. Modern research has shown that acupuncture elicits a complex set of responses in the peripheral, central and autonomic nervous systems, including the release of chemicals and hormones involved in pain transmission as well as behavioral, muscle and visceral activity.
Is Acupuncture for you?
Acupuncture can be effective as the only treatment or as an adjunct to other therapeutic interventions. The World Health Organization (WHO) recognizes the use of acupuncture in the treatment of the following conditions:
- Neurologic and Muscular disorders: headaches, neck and back pain, sports injuries (sprains/strains), sciatica, osteoarthritis, neuritis, and facial pain
- 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 and psycho-emotional problems
Is Acupuncture Safe?
In the hands of qualified practitioners, acupuncture is one of the safest therapeutic interventions used by healthcare with millions of treatments virtually free of side effects. Nowadays, the use of sterile, disposable needles has totally eliminated the risk of infection.
Does Acupuncture Hurt?
Acupuncture does not cause any significant discomfort in the majority of patients. The needles are very fine and do not damage the tissues when inserted. For many people, acupuncture is a pleasant experience due to the sense of well being that usually follows treatment.
You can learn even more here or contact us if you have more questions.