Acupuncture has been practiced for thousands of years and is a minimally invasive approach to treating pain and a variety of health issues. Acupuncture treats the body as a whole, not just by treating the presenting condition by adding a “band-aid.” Inserting very fine, sterile disposable needles superficially into specific points of the body can activate the vital life force, known as “qi,” pronounced “chi.” These points help the qi to encourage the body’s own innate healing abilities and help restore balance. Illness is said to be the consequence of an imbalance in qi.
Acupuncture therapy is widely accepted because of the fact that it has no serious side effects when performed by a Registered Acupuncturist. Some areas where the needles were inserted may feel sore or achy. This is normal and will dissipate after 24 hours. Although less common, bruising may occur. They generally don’t hurt and disappear within a few days following treatment.
Completely. Needles are made of stainless steel; they are pre-sterilized and disposed of after each treatment.
Patients describe sensations from dull, slightly aching, numbness or tingling to a fullness/ distending or pressure and even heaviness sensations. It should never hurt or be sharp. If this does occur, this means it has either gone through a hair follicle or hit a vein. If this happens, the acupuncturist will either re-angle the needle to where it doesn’t hurt or take it out altogether.
Patients note a relaxation and peaceful feeling which can last for the day or for a week. They also mention they have a better night’s sleep and wake well-rested the next day. The most important thing patients notice is relief from symptoms soon after their first treatment.
Dry Needling, also known as IMS (Intramuscular Stimulation) is a technique used by physiotherapists where acupuncture needles are inserted into the muscle to relieve muscle tightness. While this can cause temporary relief it is often an incomplete treatment as it fails to address any of the underlying conditions associated with the problem. This is where Traditional Chinese Medicine used by Registered Acupuncturists comes in to bridge this gap and address the underlying condition, as well as the specific muscle tightness. Those taught dry needling are often taught over the course of a weekend. Acupuncturists go through 3 years of schooling and spend over 500 hours observing and needling patients through their student clinics.
Acupuncture needles aren’t very big at all. There are varying sizes of acupuncture needles. In my treatments, I mainly use either 0.16mm in diameter by 15mm in length or 0.25mm in diameter by 30mm in length. Fun fact: I can it 20 acupuncture needles into the head of a hypodermic injection needle!