Acupuncture Treatment in Edmonton
Acupuncture is becoming increasingly popular as a modality integrated into physiotherapy practice. We use acupuncture to help manage pain and inflammation, normalize nervous system function and stimulate the body’s healing to enhance rehabilitation. Acupuncture involves the insertion of thin, pre-sterilized, disposable needles at specific points on the body that individuals mapped 2000+ years ago.
Acupuncture is centred around Traditional Chinese Medicine, a holistic system of treatment that acknowledges the body’s ability to return to its balanced state of health. In Chinese medicine, the belief is that there is universal life energy called Qi (pronounced “Chi”) in all living creatures. Teachings share that Qi circulates throughout the body along specific pathways called meridians. When energy flows freely along the meridians, health is maintained. However, when the energy flow is somehow blocked (i.e., injury, illness), the system becomes disrupted, and pain or other ailments develop. Acupuncture restores a balanced state of health by stimulating multiple points along the meridians to restore the body’s natural flow of Qi.
Today, the practice of acupuncture within physiotherapy builds on traditional concepts. Still, it is grounded in evidence-based practice to understand better its effects on the human body in an anatomical and physiological context. We now know that acupuncture can improve blood flow. It also reduces pain in multiple ways, including acting as a pain inhibitor along neurological pain pathways, releasing naturally occurring pain inhibitors, and eliminating myofascial trigger points that cause referred pain patterns.
Acupuncture can also provide more general analgesic effects by influencing brain areas such as the limbic system. The results of acupuncture can complement and enhance outcomes of other physiotherapy treatments, such as when used before stretching the tissue, mobilizing a joint, or exercising.
During a typical acupuncture session, needles are placed at points along the meridians and manually or electrically stimulated. Therapists individualize the specific points, intensity, and frequency of treatments to produce an optimal response. Therapists have additional techniques to enhance a treatment further (i.e., cupping to increase circulation and reduce spasm/pain).
What is Acupuncture used for?
Acupuncture is most commonly used to reduce acute and chronic pain. However, it can also manage systemic and longer-term illnesses, including autoimmune conditions. Functionally, acupuncture can successfully enhance outcomes such as return to work and pre/post athletic performance and recovery.
Can all Physiotherapists Perform Acupuncture?
Our physiotherapists who practice acupuncture possess advanced post-graduate training in addition to their physiotherapy education. They have received special approval to perform needling within their practice from our regulatory body (Physiotherapy Alberta – College + Association) and adhere to safe practice standards. Our physiotherapists hold a Certificate in Medical Acupuncture (CMA) or have received accreditation from Acupuncture Canada (CAFCI).