Our approach to acupuncture treatments at our clinic, is based on a large body of evidence is accumulating indicating that acupuncture leads to real physiologic changes in the body. Numerous studies have shown, for example, that inserting needles into the skin stimulates nerves in the underlying muscles. The stimulation of acupuncture, researchers feel, sends impulses up the spinal cord to a relatively primitive part of the brain known as the limbic system, as well as to the midbrain and the pituitary gland. Acupuncture treatment leads to the release of endorphins and monoamines, chemicals that block pain signals in the spinal chord and brain.
On your first visit for acupuncture in mississauga, the practitioner will take a thorough medical history, examine your range of motion, muscle strength and reflexes. Depending on your condition, you may also have your first acupuncture treatment at this time. In general, visits occur once or twice a week over several months until therapeutic results are achieved.
Most people will say acupuncture rarely hurts?. Different people experience different sensations from acupuncture. Some describe a tingling pins-and-needles feeling, others feel numbness or nothing at all. Most find the sessions relaxing, and many fall asleep during or immediately after treatment. Some patients notice rapid improvement after just a few sessions. In those whose conditions have taken years to develop, treatment would take longer.
Our primary use of acupuncture at our Mississauga acupuncture clinic has been to relieve chronic pain--caused by such ailments as arthritis or joint pain, depression during pregnancy, supporting IVF or fertility, headaches, nausea, PMS, carpal tunnel, fibromyalgia--and to assist withdrawal from addictions such as drug and alcohol dependency. Today more innovative applications for acupuncture are being explored by both conventional and alternative practitioners, including its use as an analgesic to reduce pain during surgery.
Our mississauga acupuncture therapist understands acupuncture is a useful adjunct and acceptable treatment for a variety of conditions, call us today for your acupuncture appointment.
What is Acupuncture?
Acupuncture is an ancient technique in which a skilled practitioner inserts hair-thin needles into specific points on the body to prevent or treat illness. Modern or medical acupuncture is based in combining traditional knowledge with modern science to give the best results for patients.
Acupuncture stimulates the body via 14 primary meridians or channels. To get a therapeutic benefit an acupuncturist inserts a number of tiny, sterile, flexible needles just under the skin at certain specific points (called acupoints) along the channels. There are four to five hundred named acupoints along the meridians, some of which are associated with specific internal organs or organ systems. Acupuncture practitioners believe that the therapy stimulates the body's internal regulatory system and nurtures a natural healing response.
Acupuncture studies have shown, for example, that inserting needles into the skin stimulates nerves in the underlying muscles. This stimulation, researchers feel, sends impulses up the spinal cord to a relatively primitive part of the brain known as the limbic system, as well as to the midbrain and the pituitary gland. Somehow that signaling leads to the release of endorphins and monoamines, chemicals that block pain signals in the spinal chord and brain.
Acupuncture needles can feel uncomfortable at times, they rarely hurt. They are very thin (only about three times the thickness of a human hair and much finer than the hypodermic needles used to give injections) and are designed to enter the skin with little resistance. Once the needles are inserted (generally from one to 15 are used), the acupuncturist may twist them manually or send a weak electrical current through them to increase the energy flow. The needles are left in for 20 to 30 minutes, depending on the ailment. Some practitioners also use moxibustion, which involves heating the needles or acupoint with a slowly burning herbal agent (primarily the dried herb mugwort) to hasten healing.
How Does Acupuncture Work?
In recent decades scientific research has shown that these theories, although they support some of the possible partial mechanisms of pain relief from local and distal needling, are not quite accurate even on the pain control mechanism of acupuncture.
Original attempts to explain the analgesic and pain control actions of acupuncture were:
- The gate theory of pain, first put forward some thirty years ago by Patrick Wall and Ronald Melzack, postulates the existence of gates or filters in the spinal cord that can modulate (increase or decrease) transmission of pain information within the nervous system.
- The second explanation is based on the existence of natural opiates (pain-relieving substances such as endorphins and enkephalins) in the central nervous system and elsewhere in the body
In recent years evidence has suggested that the antiinflammatory actions of acupuncture are mediated via the reflexive central inhibition of the innate immune system. Both laboratory and clinical evidence have recently shown the existence of a negative feedback loop between the autonomic nervous system and the innate immunity. There is also experimental evidence that the electrical stimulation of the nervous system inhibits macrophage activation and the production of TNF, IL-1b, IL-6, IL-18, and other proinflammatory cytokines.
It is therefore conceivable that along with hypnosis, meditation, prayer, guided imagery, biofeedback, and the placebo effect, the systemic anti-inflammatory actions of needling and electro-acupuncture are directly or indirectly mediated by the efferent nerve activation and inflammatory macrophage deactivation.