Acupuncture Therapy In South Edmonton
Acupuncture is a form of traditional Chinese medicine that is a safe, drug-free way to treat a variety of issues which involves the insertion of very thin needles into specific points in the body. This technique is used to help resolve different conditions ranging from decreasing pain to increasing range of motion to more systemic issues.
What Conditions Does Acupuncture Treat?
At Enhanced Health & Wellness, we have used acupuncture to treat several conditions. Some common conditions that patients have sought our clinic for acupuncture are:
What Does Acupuncture Feel Like?
The needles used for acupuncture are extremely thin, approximately ¼ of the size of a sewing needle. Therefore, patients often do not feel any pain or feel a ‘pressure’ as the needle penetrates the skin and is inserted. At times when patients do feel pain, it feels similar to a mosquito bite and may feel like a deep muscle ache that typically lasts for less than 10 seconds. Once the needles are inserted, many times patients will feel relaxed and fall asleep!
Keep in mind, that there are different acupuncture techniques and they all will feel different from one another. Some are more aggressive than others and may feel more ‘achy’ while other techniques will feel warm or like multiple muscle twitches. At Enhanced Health & Wellness in Edmonton, our practitioners will review the different acupuncture techniques with you and find which one is best suited for your condition.
Different Acupuncture Techniques
An experienced practitioner may use different acupuncture techniques depending on your condition and the desired outcomes. These are a few of the different techniques that may be used:
TCM (Traditional Chinese Medicine)
- Traditional Chinese Medicine acupuncture involves the use of meridian points that are connected by pathways of energy flow throughout the body known as ‘Qi’ (pronounced ‘chee’). Each meridian point is associated with a specific organ in your body (ie. Liver, Stomach, Large Intestine, etc.), which in turn affects your health and wellbeing. Depending on the presentation of your condition, a combination of meridian points will be used to help resolve your ailment.
- IMS stands for intramuscular stimulation. This is a modern form of acupuncture that is primarily used to treat muscular-related issues. A skilled, trained chiropractor, will find muscular trigger points (tight bands of muscle) in the contributing areas of concern and then insert a needle. The needle is then manually stimulated for a few seconds before being taken out. Dry Needling is a useful technique to decrease muscle tightness and pain and increase range of motion.
- Moxibustion is the use of fire or heat to provide a greater effect of the needle on the area of treatment. A practitioner may use a constantly moving flame or a heat lamp over the inserted needles to warm them up. Alternatively, a moxibustion ‘pellet’ may be placed directly on the end of the needle and ignited to create a similar effect. By providing heat to the needle at one end, the inserted portion of the needle is also heated which affects the muscle tissue, creating more blood flow to the area.
- Once the needles have been inserted into their respective points, electrode clips are attached to the end of specific needles. Using a Tens unit, electrical stimulation is applied to the muscles or meridian points to create a greater effect. Doing this can help to decrease pain and relax tight muscles that may be contributing to your condition.
National Institutes of Health (NIH) studies have shown that acupuncture is an effective treatment alone or in combination with conventional therapies. There are times when patients may come into our clinic suffering from chronic pain, fibromyalgia, or after a car accident and they are very sensitive to touch. In these cases, there may be too much inflammation in the problem area which makes it difficult to perform manual muscle work.
Acupuncture is a good alternative to not overly stimulate sensitive muscles but still achieve the effect of decreasing inflammation and releasing tight muscles. By decreasing inflammation and releasing tight muscles, you should experience less pain and notice an increase in range of motion.
Your First Acupuncture Appointment
Before attending your first acupuncture appointment, there are a few things you should do to prepare:
- First, make sure you have had something to eat at least 30 minutes to a few hours before your session. A small meal before getting an acupuncture treatment will keep you from feeling dizzy or faint during the session.
- Second, try to wear sportswear like a tank top or shorts or loose-fitting clothing. Depending on the condition, having access to the skin is necessary to insert the needles.
On your first visit, expect to spend at least 45-60 minutes with us. Your practitioner will discuss your medical history, current areas of concern, and lifestyle before an exam is performed. After the physical exam is done, a proper treatment plan
will be prepared that addresses your goals and needs. Don’t hesitate to take the next step on your health & wellness journey!