Acupuncture is an alternative medicine technique that involves the insertion of small needles at particular points into one’s body in order to promote local tissue effects (analgesia, reducing swelling) as well as reducing pain, reducing trigger points, decreasing sympathetic system activity. Acupuncture has a calming effect and helps one’s overall well-bring. With the use of acupuncture in certain points of the body, the nervous system is stimulated to release chemicals in the brain, spinal cord and muscles. These chemicals change the experience of pain, or trigger the release of other chemicals and hormones to regulate the body’s own regulating system.
How is Acupuncture administered?
When performing this procedure, the acupuncturist inserts very fine needles under the skin at locations that correspond to a pressure point. Because the needles themselves are very thin, the patient experiences very little discomfort. Before the insertion occurs the acupuncturist makes sure that the needles are properly sterilized in order to avoid any type of infection. After the insertion, the needles may be gently moved or twirled in order to relieve any pressure or swelling that might be present in a particular area. In addition, the practitioner may also apply heat or a mild electric pulse to the needles inserted in the skin. Typically, they will remain in place for fifteen to thirty minutes while the patient lies still and relaxes. When removed, no sensation of discomfort is usually experienced.
One may try acupuncture for symptomatic relief of a variety of diseases and conditions that include the following:
- Chemotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting
- Labour pain
- Low back pain
- Menstrual cramps
- Postoperative dental pain
- Tennis elbow
Acupuncture Council Ontario
Canadian Contemporary Acupuncture Association