Acupuncture is an ancient form of Chinese medicine involving the insertion of solid filiform acupuncture needles into the skin at specific points on the body to achieve a therapeutic effect. No drug is injected. The needles alone create the beneficial effects of acupuncture. Acupuncture is used to encourage natural healing, improve mood and energy, reduce or relieve pain and improve function of affected areas of the body. It is safe and effective and is often successfully used as an alternative to medications or even surgery.
What does acupuncture do? Acupuncture is a stimulus for your body to release hormones such as endorphins (the body’s natural painkillers) to get rid of the pain and inflammation. It can also help to reduce muscle tension and promote blood flow.
Does it hurt? You may feel a tiny poke as the needles go in but often you don’t feel anything. And once they are in you may initially feel a bit of an ache but then that should go away and you won’t feel anything while they’re in.
How big are the needles? Some needles are about the width of a hair. The needles are very thin and short and most points don’t go in very deep, approximately 5-10 mm
How long do the needles stay in for? 10 minutes
What are the side effects? Some people feel tired afterwards. Other people feel great after acupuncture and don’t feel any side effects. Occasionally after your first session of acupuncture you may feel achy. This is very normal and your therapist will inform you to drink lots of water to help with this. If you do feel achy after treatment it should only last for a few hours after treatment or you may even experience that the next day. Usually if you feel achy it will only be after the first treatment, the next few treatments you shouldn't feel it as much. Because acupuncture can be a strong stimulus for releasing hormones in your body you may feel light headed or nauseous once they are in. We suggest eating something before you come in for your appointment as low blood sugar can contribute to this. Some people are more sensitive to needles and if they experience this sensation the therapist will take the needles out right away and that feeling should pass. If you have had issues with needles in the past where you have felt nauseous or have passed out please let the therapist know before hand.
How soon after I have acupuncture will I know if it is helping my pain? Some patients feel effects immediately after they have acupuncture done. Others may not notice a difference until later that day or the next day. You may notice some relief initially after treatment but then may feel it wear off by the next day or 2 days later. Acupuncture is a cumulative effect, so each time you have it done you should have more permanent and longer lasting relief. Acupuncture combined with other physiotherapy treatment will help to fix the source of the pain so that it does not come back.
How many sessions will I need? Since acupuncture is a cumulative effect you may need a few sessions. 3-5 may be all that you need but often if you are still experiencing improvement the therapist may do more than that. If you reach a plateau where you don’t feel it’s helping anymore the therapist will probably stop using it in treatment.
Is there an additional charge in my Physio Treatment? No. If your therapist and you decide its something that will help with your injury then Acupuncture is included in the price of your treatment. Acupuncture can be purchased as a stand alone item if you don't require Physiotherapy.
What is the difference between Physiotherapy Acupuncture & Chinese Acupuncture? Physiotherapy acupuncture treats musculoskeletal conditions and pain. It’s used to reduce pain, inflammation and abnormal muscle tone. It is performed by a physiotherapist who has successfully completed acupuncture courses through a regulatory body. Physiotherapy acupuncture is a tool used as a part of physiotherapy treatment but it can also be a stand-alone treatment if someone wants just acupuncture. Therefore we do not bill it as “acupuncture” but “physiotherapy” as it is a physiotherapist who is performing it. Physiotherapy acupuncture typically does not use as many needles as traditional Chinese acupuncture and the needles are not left in as long. Traditional Chinese acupuncture is billed as “acupuncture” and is performed by someone with a Chinese acupuncture degree. This type of acupuncture has a different approach with reference to balancing a person’s Ying and Yang, or hot and cold energy. It works to bring the body back to homeostasis. This type of acupuncture is used to treat many issues such as migraines, digestive issues, fertility, stress and more.