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What is Acupuncture Therapy and How Does it Work?

Acupuncture therapy consists of placing thin needles in strategic areas of a patient’s body to relieve various symptoms. This treatment is a key component of Chinese traditional medicine and is commonly used to treat pain and stress. The treatment focuses on helping patients achieve overall wellness.

The technique is explained in Chinese medicine as a way to balance the flow of energy within the body. This energy flows through internal biological paths, and by using the needles at specific points along these pathways, a practitioner may rebalance that energy.

The practice is common in Western medicine as well but is believed to stimulate nerves, muscles and tissues that may be under stress and pain. Many believe the stimulation helps boost the body’s natural healing, and the treatment can act as a natural painkiller.

Why is Acupuncture Done?

Acupuncture treatment is used to help with various issues, including:

  • To help manage nausea and vomiting caused by treatments such as chemotherapy.
  • Dental pain
  • Fatigue, insomnia, emotional and physical stress, and anxiety.
  • Headaches and migraines
  • Muscle pain
  • Menstrual cramps
  • Respiratory disorders such as allergies

Before Acupuncture Therapy

There is no special preparation required for treatment. Before visiting a practitioner, you should ensure you find a trustworthy clinic that offers treatment by certified acupuncturists or chiropractors near you. Calgary Spine & Sport offers a variety of treatments to help improve your symptoms, and we will be happy to schedule an alternative medicine appointment for you.

Before your visit, tell your health practitioner if you have a bleeding disorder, have a pacemaker, or are pregnant. These factors could interfere with the process, and a practitioner should be made aware of them so they can adjust how they will perform this unique form of therapy.

How Does the Treatment Work?

The treatment is performed by many practitioners within the field. Your chiropractor in SW Calgary, for example, may recommend acupuncture as a complementary measure and perform it for you during an appointment. During the treatment, they will insert the thin needles into the specific parts of your body that need attention. The needles may cause you to feel slight discomfort.

Each practitioner has a unique way of treatment based on the aspects they have learned from the Eastern and Western cultures. They may decide which way to practice acupuncture depending on their patient’s symptoms.

To determine where to place the needles, they may examine your tongue, the colour of your face, areas of your body that are painful and the strength, rhythm, and quality of your body’s pulse. The placement of the needles may not necessarily align with where the pain and stress are located on your body; rather, each point may be a reflection of the pain. The depth that the needles are inserted will also depend on the patient’s unique case. Typically, they are inserted at various depths, and practitioners can use up to 20 needles in one session. Once the placement is determined and the needles have been inserted, the appointment will last for up to 60 minutes. Needles will remain in place for 10 to 15 minutes for full effect as the patient relaxes and lies still.

After Acupuncture Treatment

The results of therapy vary between patients. Some may feel relaxed, while others may leave their appointment feeling energized. However, not every patient will respond to treatments, and some may not see improvement from acupuncture therapy and should try an alternative way to alleviate their symptoms.

Some side effects from the treatment may include slight soreness and minor bleeding. Some bruising may also appear in the location needles were inserted. These symptoms should subside, and the risk of any additional discomfort or infection is minimal.

Interested in Acupuncture?

If you have been searching for an acupuncture clinic near you, search no further! Contact our friendly staff at Calgary Spine & Sport to book an appointment and receive treatments to improve your overall wellness.