What is Acupuncture?
Acupuncture is an ancient form of Chinese medicine involving the insertion of needles into the skin at specific points on the body to produce a therapeutic effect. The ancient Chinese believed that there are pathways or meridians that travel through the body. Any pain or dysfunction in the body was due to a blockage in the meridians. By inserting needles or applying deep pressure through specific acupoints in the body, the blockage is removed, energy is able to flow and the pain or dysfunction disappears.
There are no drugs injected and the needles alone create the beneficial effects of acupuncture.
Acupuncture is used to encourage natural healing, 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.
Clients are often confused by my treatment methods. It may be that they have seen other acupuncturists place needles right where there is pain. Whereas I might be using their ankle for neck pain, the forearm for back pain, etc. This style of needling is called distal needle acupuncture (DNA). Areas below the elbows and knees are commonly used (sometimes head and ears). There are 12+ channels/meridians of energy which are comprised of nerve bundles and blood vessels and have been mapped out anatomically thousands of years ago. The goal is to tap into one channel and have it communicate with another channel and/or location in the body. Tapping into the channel unblocks the channel(s) and revitalizes the flow of neurological and circulatory function. The location of the needle and the channel selection is important for the success of the treatment.
There are 2 main benefits to distal needling:
1) The site of pain will not potentially get further injured by needles. You will be able to give feedback if the pain has minimized because you will be able to move, if necessary, to feel the effectiveness.
2) Faster results. Because the nerves are denser below the elbows and knees, the central nervous system has more stimulation to release natural pain relievers (endogenous opioids such as enkephalins, beta-endorphins, norepinephrine, and acetylcholine) and to stimulate blood flow to the site of pain. Ever feel lightheaded or euphoric after acupuncture? This is why. This is also why there is more pain relief when using distal needles. More brain stimulation causes a larger shift in these aforementioned chemicals. Because of this ability to tap into the body’s natural healing system, acupuncture can do more than just treat pain. Acupuncture can and does help bring the body’s organ systems back into balance and reduce stress.
The effects of acupuncture on musculoskeletal conditions include:
- Decreasing pain by allowing the body to release endorphins
- Decreasing inflammation
- Decreasing muscle spasm
- Restoring proper nerve function
For those who are nervous about needles, acupressure and electrical stimulation is able to achieve at times, similar effects of needle acupuncture.
The World Health Organization has released a list of diseases, symptoms or conditions for which acupuncture has been proven through controlled trials to be an effective treatment.
Commonly treated by acupuncture:
- Allergic rhinitis (sinusitis)
- Depression and anxiety
- Facial Pain
- Induction of Labour
- Knee Pain
- Low back pain
- Malposition of fetus
- Neck pain
- Shoulder Pain
- Tennis/Golfer’s elbow…and much more.
Complement your next massage by adding acupuncture/acupressure to your treatment- your body will thank you!
57 Dundas Way
Markham, ON L6E 0R7
|Monday||10am – 5:30 pm|
|Tuesday||12pm – 7 pm|
|Thursday||12pm – 7 pm|
|Friday||10am – 5:30 pm|
|Saturday:||9am – 3pm|
Angela Samuels, RMT
57 Dundas Way
Markham, ON L6E 0R7