What Does Medical Acupuncture Feel Like? And Can It Help Me?  

What is medical acupuncture? It’s a question our Ottawa physiotherapists and other sports medicine specialists hear often. Acupuncture is a part of traditional Chinese medical practices that’s been adopted by Western physical therapy and sports medicine.

While it’s a practice with a history that dates back thousands of years, modern medical acupuncture adds an understanding of contemporary Western medicine for a win-win combination that helps many patients. It can be useful for managing and reducing symptoms as well as helping to promote healing for some people.

Here’s a little clarification.

What happens during a session – and does it hurt??

The main principle of modern medical acupuncture is that the needles, which are inserted just under the skin, stimulate muscles, nerves, and connective tissue. They help release the body’s own painkiller hormones, and that helps the affected tissues to heal.

  • The practitioner inserts 5 to 20 needles gently at specific areas which may or may not be close to the area of discomfort;
  • They are left in typically for 10 to 15 minutes;
  • During that time, the practitioner may move the needles around in various ways;
  • A mild aching sensation – or no feeling at all – is the most common reaction;
  • There may also be mild bruising or bleeding at the insertion site;
  • Most people feel nothing when they are removed.

Once the needles are removed, you may feel nicely relaxed. You may also feel invigorated and energetic. If you don’t feel any improvements to your symptoms at all over two or three sessions, your Ottawa sports medicine specialist should re-evaluate your treatment plan.  

Can it help me?

Most often, patients use medical acupuncture to relieve painful or uncomfortable symptoms stemming from various underlying conditions. Many people have found relief from:

  • Chronic headaches, including migraines;
  • Chronic pain relief;
  • The side effects of cancer treatments;
  • Lower back aches;
  • Neck pain;
  • Symptoms of arthritis and fibromyalgia;
  • Tennis elbow and rotator cuff tendonitis;
  • Among others.

There is a growing body of scientific research that shows the potential for medical acupuncture to help treat many more conditions, such as diabetes and depression.

Our Ottawa medical acupuncture practitioners combine the practice with other specialties, just as the treatment is used in combination with other therapies. It means your treatment comes from a professional with a thorough understanding of the human musculoskeletal system and its components.

If you have any questions about medical acupuncture or wonder whether it might help your condition, don’t hesitate to contact one of our Ottawa physiotherapy and chiropractic clinics today for a consultation.






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