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What Is Acupuncture?

Acupuncture is a treatment technique that was developed thousands of years ago, and involves the insertion of fine, monofilament needles into specific acupunture points on the body.  The points selected are based on each client’s injury and stage of healing and may include local points and more distal points.  Studies have shown that acupuncture can help accelerate the healing process, improve pain management, and improve function when used with therapeutic exercise and education. Depending on your condition and specific health needs, our physiotherapists may include medical acupuncture as part of your treatment plan.

Our physiotherapists have been professionally trained and certified by the Acupuncture Foundation of Canada Institute (AFCI). Acupuncture is a treatment that can work well in conjunction with many of the other services we offer at Corona Station Physical Therapy and can compliment many physical therapy treatment plans.

What Can I Expect at My First Visit?

Your physical therapist will perform a comprehensive exam including a thorough history and physical exam in order to determine the nature of your injury or condition and the most effective treatment plan.  If your therapist thinks you would benefit from acupuncture, they will discuss with you any benefits or risks and will integrate acupuncture as part of a treatment program that will likely also include manual therapy, education and therapeutic exercises.

Is Acupuncture Painful?

The needles used in acupuncture are very fine, meaning most people only feel a small pinch as the needle enters the skin.  Some people report not even being aware of the needle once inserted while others report a feeling of heaviness, pressure or an ache. This may depend on the spot being needled or other variables such as how tight a muscle is.

Is Acupuncture Safe?

A study of over 200 000 individuals who received acupuncture found a very low incidence of adverse effects.  The most common adverse effects included local bruising or short term increases in soreness.  Your therapist will discuss with you any risks associated with needling.

Is There Evidence to Support the Use of Acupuncture?

Yes!  Recent studies have shown that acupuncture causes an increase in a person’s endogenous opioids, our bodies natural pain killers, and has both local effects at the site being needled as well as in the central nervous system.  A number of studies have also shown that acupuncture is more effective in decreasing pain and improving outcome measures when compared to no treatment or to a “sham” acupuncture treatment.

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For more information, check out our blog post on acupuncture.