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#106, 175 Chestermere Station Way - Chestermere, Alberta, T1X 0A4 | (403) 235-6208

How Acupuncture Works

Traditional Chinese medicine or TCM has a history of approximately 2,500 years of successfully diagnosing, treating, and preventing illness. One of the basic tenets of TCM holds that the body’s vital energy (chi or qi) circulates through channels, called "meridians" that have branches connected to bodily organs and functions. Concepts of the body and of disease used in TCM reflect its ancient origins and its emphasis on dynamic processes over the material structure. TCM diagnosis aims to trace symptoms to patterns of an underlying disharmony, by measuring the pulse, inspecting the tongue, skin, and eyes, and looking at the eating and sleeping habits of the person as well as examining other signs.

Frequently Asked Questions About Acupuncture

Q) What is acupuncture?

Acupuncture is a means of adjusting the body’s life energy (chi or qi) through the insertion of fine needles into carefully selected acupuncture points along the meridians of the body. The needles, which have a rounded end rather than a sharp cutting one, are inserted into the points and are manipulated with a gentle pumping action by twirling or leaving in place for a few minutes.

These motions stimulate the flow of energy and remove blockages so that the qi can be dispersed and regulated. When the qi is flowing properly throughout the body, balance is restored and improved health ensues.

Q) How does it work?

Although many theories have been presented, there is still no easy answer as to exactly how acupuncture works. The β€œGate Control” theory suggests that pain impulses are blocked from reaching the spinal cord or brain at various β€œgates” to these areas. Since a majority of acupuncture points are either located near or connected to neural structures, this suggests that acupuncture stimulates the nervous system to β€œshut the gate” to the sensation of pain.

Other theories suggest that acupuncture stimulates the body to produce narcotic-like substances, such as endorphins and opioids which, when released into the body, relieve pain. One thing is certain, although we may not know precisely how it works, studies have shown that it does work for a large majority of people and conditions.

Q) Does it hurt?

The sensation of receiving an acupuncture treatment can rarely be described as painful. Now, that is not to say that it is devoid of sensation. However, generally, the feeling is more of a tingling. Acupuncture needles have a doweled end, and therefore, do not cut the skin as regular injection needles do. Following treatment, it is common for the patient to feel a tremendous sense of relaxation and/or exhilaration.

Q) Is it safe?

This is a very common question among those who have never experienced an acupuncture treatment. The answer relies on the skill of the practitioner. If he or she is unsure of what they are doing, it is certainly possible to inflict injury with an acupuncture needle.

However, when practiced by a licensed, trained acupuncturist, acupuncture is extremely safe, and there is no danger whatsoever. The importance of seeking an appropriately trained practitioner cannot be overstated.

Q) Are the needles sterile and clean?

Before undergoing any acupuncture treatment, ask the practitioner about their sterilization procedures. All registered acupuncturists are required by law to sterilize needles. It is in their interest, as much as in the patient’s, to use extreme caution.

For this reason, some practitioners use disposable needles that can be discarded following the treatment of each patient. In cases where disposable needles are not used, the practitioner will have a sterilizer (called "an autoclave") in the clinic or may use hospital sterilization services.

The World Health Organization (WHO) lists approximately four dozen different conditions that can legitimately be treated by acupuncture.

The most common uses for acupuncture in the West include pain management, asthma, sinusitis, drug abuse, alcoholism, smoking cessation, strokes, gastrointestinal disorders, weight loss, gynaecological and obstetric problems, fertility and sexual dysfunction problems.

Q) How many treatments will I need?

The total number of treatments required to effect change in a condition varies and depends on the disease, it’s severity, the duration of the illness, the frequency of the treatments, and the patient themselves.

A consultation with an experienced practitioner about you and your condition will offer the best guide for the length of treatment. However, as a rough guideline, the maximum benefit is usually obtained after approximately six treatments at weekly intervals.

Three more treatments at three-month intervals followed by one or two occasional treatments may be recommended to prevent recurrence.

What Are the Benefits of Acupuncture?

Acupuncture is an effective form of health-care, that has evolved into a complete and holistic medical system. Practitioners of acupuncture have used this non-invasive medical system to diagnose and help millions of people become well and stay well. Acupuncture promotes natural healing. It can enhance recuperative power and immunity, support physical and emotional health, and improve overall function and well-being. It is a safe, painless, and effective way to treat a wide variety of medical problems.

Acupuncture is recognized by the National institute of Health (NIH) and the World Health Organization (WHO) as being effective in the treatment of a wide variety of medical problems.

Some of the symptoms that acupuncture can be used to treat include:

  • Muscular/skeletal sciatica, low back pain, and arthritis
  • Premenstrual syndrome
  • Infertility
  • Endometriosis
  • Morning sickness
  • Circulatory problems like high or low blood pressure
  • Cold hands and feet
  • Nervous system imbalances, especially anxiety and nervousness
  • Sleeplessness or depression
  • Asthma, allergies, and sinus problems
  • Digestive disorders, including Crohn’s disease, irritable bowel syndrome, ulcerative colitis, diarrhea and constipation
  • Headaches and vertigo
  • Sports and stress injuries
  • Skin problems
  • Immune system disorders
  • Fatigue, chronic pain, and side effects of chemotherapy and other cancer treatments
  • Detoxification from addictive substances, such as drugs, alcohol, caffeine and cigarettes
  • Anxiety disorders, depression, insomnia, and stress-related disorders
  • Women’s health issues, including period irregularities, menopause, uterine fibroids and ovarian cysts
  • Chronic diseases, such as high cholesterol, diabetes, high blood pressure, fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue, and arthritis
  • Allergies, asthma and eczema
  • Family and children’s health- (support for the whole family, from pediatrics to parents, including ADHD and autism.

Call us at (403) 235-6208 to book your
Acupuncture appointment with us today!

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