Is Medical Acupuncture right for you?
In order to determine if medical acupuncture is right for you, it is best to start off with an explanation of what it is and what is involved in the acupuncture process. Medical acupuncture involves the insertion of needles into “neuro-reactive” sites in the body in an attempt to modulate the nervous system. These sites are specific points in the body that are heavily influenced by either nerves or vascular bundles (arteries, veins). By modulating the nervous system you can in turn affect pain levels, muscle stiffness, and range of motion of joints in the body. Insertion of needles is relatively painless, you may experience a sharp prick or a dull ache while inserting the needles but this lasts momentarily. Side effects of acupuncture are also minimal and can include muscle soreness (similar to how a muscle feels after working out), minor bleeding, and bruising at needle insertion sites.
What can I expect during acupuncture treatment?
Each treatment starts off with a short but concise assessment as to ascertain the nature of the visit. After the short examination, the practitioner will determine which acupuncture sites will be needled. Anywhere from 10 to 25 needles may be used during a single visit, but this depends on the size of the treatment area. All needles are individually wrapped in a sterile container and are discarded in a sharps container after use. Needles are never reused or shared between patients. Acupuncture needles are incredibly thin and are very flexible. This allows for insertion to be pain free.
After the appropriate amounts of needles are inserted into the body, electricity is hooked up to the needles with the use of alligator clips. After the electricity is turned on, you will feel a slight tapping or twitching sensation. This feeling is very comfortable and soothing. At no time throughout this process should you be in any extreme amounts of pain. Depending on the severity of the injury being treated, there may be some levels of discomfort, however for the most part acupuncture is a painless procedure. After lying down with the electricity on for about 12-15 minutes, the practitioner will remove the needles. This will commence the acupuncture portion of the treatment, but the practitioner may decide to supplement the treatment with modalities such as chiropractic adjustments.
Is acupuncture right for me?
Acupuncture is a great alternative for acute and chronic conditions such as low back pain, ankle or knee sprains, shoulder injuries, or even neck pain. Individuals who are apprehensive about being adjusted by a chiropractor may find acupuncture to be a great alternative treatment. It is a safe and painless procedure that has many pain reducing benefits.
When is acupuncture not an appropriate treatment?
Needles are only inserted into healthy tissues and joints. This means that any swollen, infected, bruised, cut areas of the bodies are avoided. Even areas affected by inflammatory conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis are avoided as it will only inflame the area further. Fortunately, since the goal of treatment is to affect nerves and vascular bundles in the body, areas above or below the affected areas can be treated to influence healing in the injured area.
If you would like to find out more about medical acupuncture or whether it is right for you, feel free to call and book a free consultation. The chiropractors at Bunting and Carlton Chiropractic clinic are highly trained in several different treatment modalities and will help you decide on the treatment that is best for you and your condition.