Acupuncture is a method of encouraging the body to promote natural healing and to improve its function. This is accomplished by the insertion of needles at very precise acupuncture points. These acupuncture points are based upon ancient Chinese medicine and are situated on meridians along which qi (Ch’i), a “life energy” flows.
Langley Acupuncture Services
HealthX offers acupuncture services in Langley. Please call us to learn more or to schedule your appointment today.
What is Acupuncture?
Acupuncture is an ancient form of Chinese medicine involving the insertion of solid filiform acupuncture needles into the skin at specific points on the body to achieve a therapeutic effect. No drug is injected. The needles alone create the beneficial effects of acupuncture.
Acupuncture is used to encourage natural healing, improve mood and energy, reduce or relieve pain and improve function of affected areas of the body. It is safe and effective and is often successfully used as an alternative to medications or even surgery. Relief is often obtained with acupuncture when traditional medical therapy has failed.
Acupuncture needles are solid, usually stainless steel (they may also be gold or silver), and measure from 13-70 mm, although longer reusable ones up to about 150 mm in length can be purchased. The needles are very fine, flexible and rounded but sharp at the tip. They are ‘atraumatic’, meaning that they do not have a cutting edge like a hypodermic needle, which slices through tissue. Their design allows acupuncture needles to slide smoothly through tissues and makes them unlikely to cause bleeding or damage to underlying structures.
Acupuncture points (also referred to as ‘acupoints’) are places on the skin that have a lower resistance to the passage of electricity than the surrounding skin and are part of a network of points that were mapped centuries ago by the Chinese. Most are found along ‘meridians’ or ‘channels’ that are believed to be the pathways by which energy or Qi (pronounced ‘Chee’) flows through the body. Acupoints are located either by identifying anatomical landmarks or by the classical method (for example: “the point where the middle finger touches the thigh when standing at attention”).
A dull, heavy, or aching feeling often occurs when the needle is correctly placed. This is referred to as ‘de Qi’ and is considered by some traditional acupuncturists to be necessary for acupuncture to be effective. The experience of AFCI is that relief of pain can often be obtained without provoking the de Qi response. Recent fMRI studies indicate that there is a difference in the response of the brain to needling with and without the de Qi sensation1.
The needles are left in place for 15-30 minutes, and the practitioner may manipulate the needles to strengthen or reduce the flow of Qi. Lifting, twisting, and rotating are some of the needling techniques a practitioner may use.
Does Acupuncture hurt?
Pain is often rarely associated with acupuncture treatment. Most people experience tingling sensations when the needle is inserted. Others describe the sensation to be a ‘dull ache’. Areas on your body which are more sensitive may experience a very brief sharp sensation, for example finger tips and toes.
How many treatments do I need?
The duration of acupuncture treatment varies from patient to patient. Factors such as your overall health and type of illness will change the number of necessary treatments needed. Chronic conditions and long-term pain tend to require more acupuncture treatments than recent injuries. Acupuncture treatments over longer periods of time tend to yield more positive results.
Who would benefit the most from Acupuncture?
Acupuncture is known as an effective form of treatment for pain relief, which is especially helpful when incorporating it into your physiotherapy treatment. Acupuncture is known to help improve your range of motion for injured joints.
Acupuncture suits you best if you have:
- Sports Injuries
- Neck pain
- Nerve pains
- Overuse Syndromes
- Pain Resulting from Spinal cord injuries
- Lower Back Pain
- Carpel Tunnel Syndrome
Acupuncture has become a common treatment for nausea and vomiting during post-surgery or chemotherapy. Stroke survivors commonly seek help from an acupuncturist for stroke rehabilitation as well.
Acupuncture has also been recognized by the Word Health Organization to improve on other ailment conditions such as:
- Sports Injuries
- Menstrual Cramps
- Asthma Bronchitis
- High blood pressure
- Allergies tinnitus (ringing in the ears)
- Sore throat (called pharyngitis)
- Gastro esophageal reflux (felt as heartburn or indigestion)
- Chronic and recurrent bladder and kidney infections
- Premenstrual syndrome (PMS)
- Memory problems
- Multiple sclerosis
- Sensory disturbances
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