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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 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 cord 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.

What Condition Does Acupuncture Treat?

Acupuncture conditions include, but are not limited to:

  • Headaches.
  • Neck and Back Pain.
  • Fibromyalgia.
  • Asthma.
  • Sports Injuries (Sprains, Strains, Tears).
  • Dizziness.
  • High Blood Pressure.
  • Drugs.
  • Arthritis.
  • Bronchitis.
  • Chemotherapy/Radiation Side Effects.

How Can Acupuncture Help You?

Acupuncture benefits include, but are not limited to:

  • Reduce Headaches and Migraines.
  • Reduce Chronic Pains.
  • Treat Insomnia.
  • Help with Pregnancy.
  • Help with Postpartum Health.
  • Help with Anxiety and Depression.

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:

  1. 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.
  2. 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.

Is Acupuncture Safe?

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.

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. 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.

Acupuncture at MyHealth Care Centre

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 cord and brain.

At MyHealth Care Centre, our acupuncturists are certified and have had years of experience. Our clinic utilizes sterilised, new, thin, surgical steel needles to treat our patients so there will be no contamination.Our most important goal is to allow individuals to live life pain free and have a good sense of control over their health. This in addition to the advanced techniques MyHealth Care Centre has to offer will allow patients to maximize their quality of life as well as allow them to experience life to their fullest.

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.

 

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