Medical Acupuncture

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What is Medical Acupuncture?

Medical acupuncture is acupuncture performed by a chiropractor, physician or other licensed health care professional who has training in the medical/health sciences. Medical acupuncture was created for western practitioners to use scientific, evidence-based acupuncture in the treatment of pain and/or disorders. It is also used as an adjunct to their regular treatment protocols.

By strategically inserting sterile needles into specific locations or points on the body, the nervous system is allowed to regulate or return to its normal state. Medical acupuncture often uses low frequency (2-8Hz) electrical stimulation on the needles to optimize the regulatory effect on the nervous system.

Medical acupuncture is based on the western biomedical understanding of anatomy, physiology and biochemistry. However, the selection of acupuncture points can be based on the Traditional Chinese Medicine meridian points and/or anatomical points that are neurologically connected to the specific source of pain.

What can be treated with Medical Acupuncture?

Research has revealed that acupuncture can have positive results in the treatment of chronic low back pain, knee osteoarthritis, and other chronic pain conditions. Medical Acupuncture is also effective for treating common musculoskeletal conditions such as muscle tightness, tendonosis, muscle strains, joint aches and pains, and headaches.

What should I expect from a treatment?

Acupuncture is typically pain-free. However, placement of the needles in the area of pain or muscle tightness may produce a ‘prick’ sensation as the needle is inserted; the discomfort should quickly dissipate. Some individuals may experience dizziness, lightheadedness and/or sweating; these responses are usually brief.

Treatment usually lasts about 15-30 minutes. The duration and the number of needles used will vary according to the condition being treated and the length of time the condition has existed.

Marked improvement is commonly experienced following the first treatment and typically improves further within a few days. Some do not notice any changes in the symptoms and others may notice worsening of symptoms. A worsening of the symptoms should resolve within a few hours. Consistency of treatments is often necessary to achieve the desired results.

Please refer to these sources if you require additional information:
McMaster University Acupuncture Program
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