Acupuncture Treatment Programs
Port Moody & Vancouver BC
Classical Acupuncture is a system to restore balance, alleviate pain, and eliminate other symptoms and based on a traditional Chinese medicine diagnosis. As a Physiotherapist, Stephanie was trained to use Anatomical Acupuncture, which takes traditional points and chooses locations based on anatomical and physiological relations to the problem being treated. The Anatomical approach is also commonly known to treat the autonomic nervous system and balance the sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous system to ultimately normalize function.
Stephanie received her training through the Acupuncture Foundation of Canada Institute. This modality can be used before manual physiotherapy to allow for more ease of mobilization and soft tissue release as well as help with longer lasting results following treatment. In combination with other treatments, acupuncture can assist in decreasing pain improving energy and decreasing stress.
Here is some additional information on Acupuncture (as put together by Acupuncture Canada) and how it can be used as an effective treatment in your therapy.
What is Acupuncture?
Acupuncture stimulates the balance and flow of Qi (pronounced chee) energy that in Traditional Chinese Medicine is considered essential to health. When the body is healthy, Qi flows smoothly through the meridians that make up a conceptual network of pathways throughout the entire body. When the balance or flow of Qi is deficient or obstructed it may be diseased or susceptible to illness. Acupuncture treats both the symptoms and the root causes of the patient’s illness.
In North America acupuncture is often used when western medicine has failed. In western medicine the yin/yang balance it achieves is known as homeostasis.
How does Acupuncture work?
Acupuncture is an ancient, safe and effective alternative to medication and, in some cases, surgery. It stimulates the release of endorphins – the body’s natural pain-relieving neurohormones – through the insertion of needles into specific anatomical points (acupuncture points) to encourage natural healing.
Therapeutic effects include:
• Pain relief
• Increased energy
• Improved mood
• Improved body function
Atraumatic acupuncture needles are rounded at the tip so that they slide smoothly through tissue and are unlikely to cause bleeding. Needles are left in place for 15 to 30 minutes during which time the practitioner may manipulate the needles in order to strengthen or reduce the flow of Qi.
There similar therapies that don’t use a needle and these related techniques include acupressure, which involves the application of pressure on acupuncture points using thumbs or fingers. Electrical or laser stimulation may also be used.
One of the most striking aspects of acupuncture is the almost complete absence of adverse effects and complications from its use. Most patients find that the treatments are relaxing and cause minimal discomfort. Acupuncture is a safe technique, provided that practitioners are properly trained and follow appropriate techniques. AFCI-trained practitioners of acupuncture use single-use, sterile disposable needles and have been trained regarding precautions and contraindications to acupuncture. The York Acupuncture Safety Study, a prospective study of 34,407 acupuncture treatments found no serious adverse effects and only 43 cases of minor adverse effects, the most common of which were nausea and fainting. It is important to inform the practitioner of your medical history, medications and if you are pregnant or could possibly be pregnant, as acupuncture treatment may have to be modified or may not be appropriate.
How does acupuncture work?
Acupuncture is the stimulation, by insertion of needles, of specific points on the body, which have the ability to alter various biochemical and physiological conditions. Acupuncture stimulates the release of endorphins, which are the body’s natural pain-relieving neurohormones. Acupuncture affects the functioning of the hormonal system, promotes a decrease in inflammation, increased circulation and relief from pain.
How many sessions of treatment will I need?
Many people start to see a significant difference within one to two treatments but some take longer to respond depending on the condition being treated. If no difference is felt by the end of the fifth or sixth treatment, the diagnosis of the condition should be reconsidered and further medical investigations may be needed. Acute injuries are treated as soon as possible and often daily at first. Chronic conditions may need repeat maintenance treatments to maintain the momentum after an initial period of frequent treatments. Post treatment exercise and discipline in diet is extremely important for continued improvement and recovery. Generally treatments every second day (Mon, Wed and Fri) would be considered frequent treatment. Maintenance treatments could range from weekly to monthly or when symptoms begin to recur.
What conditions can be helped with acupuncture?
Acupuncture is a gentle and safe treatment that’s suitable for all ages—children to seniors. Stephanie utilizes acupuncture as a modality to her physiotherapy treatment that can help with:
• pain relief
• increased energy
• musculoskeletal tissue management
Is acupuncture painful? What does it feel like?
Acupuncture is usually a very comfortable treatment. Needles are very fine, metallic and as thin as a hair, making them quite painless upon insertion. Everyone experiences acupuncture differently, but most feel no pain or very minimal pain as the needles are inserted. You may experience a mild aching sensation or warmth around the needle site.
What activities should I avoid following acupuncture treatment?
Strenuous physical activities (including exercise) should be avoided for at least two hours after treatment. A good feeling after acupuncture should not be mistaken for full recovery. Be sure that you have regained your strength and stamina before engaging in any activities that you were unable to perform before your acupuncture treatments.
What should I do before and after an acupuncture treatment?
Try to arrive rested and relaxed for your treatment. Eat a light meal prior to treatment, and avoid consuming caffeine or nicotine for 90 minutes before and afterwards. You should continue to take any prescribed medications on schedule.