Acupuncture is a Chinese medicine practice that strengthens the immune system by increasing white blood cell count, manages pain by releasing endorphins, and improves sleep by modifying physiological functions of the brain.
The practice of acupuncture has proven to be a safe and effective treatment, especially for pain management and chronic illness. Acupuncture treats illness and promotes health by bringing the body’s vital energy or Chi into proper balance.
Acupuncture involves the use of very thin needles, which are inserted into certain points along the body’s meridians or channels located just under the skin. Acupuncture stimulates the nerve receptors in the skin and muscle, causing the nervous system to release chemicals. These chemicals in turn influence the body’s internal regulating system to stimulate its own natural healing ability including the promotion of physical and emotional well-being.
Specific effects of medical acupuncture (performed by either a Chiropractor or an Acupuncturist) is effective, but are not limited to pain relief from headaches, arthritis and sciatica, inactivating muscle trigger points, relieving stress, relaxation, regulating hormones, improving fertility, and other conditions.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is Medical Acupuncture?
Medical Acupuncture involves the insertion of very fine needles in specific points on the body, with the intent of treating certain conditions. The target structures are based on the examination findings and the aim is to stimulate a healing response directly at the tissue level. Electric stimulation may be added to the needles to amplify the healing effect for a stronger acupuncture healing response.
What can be treated by Medical Acupuncture?
Acupuncture is recognized by the World Health Organization and is effective in treating a number of disorders including but not limited to:
-neck and back pain
-tennis and golfer's elbow
-repetitive stress injuries
-numbness and tingling
Please ask your Polymed Acupuncture Provider for more information.
Does Acupuncture hurt?
No, Acupuncture does not hurt. It is normal when a patient sometimes feels heaviness, aching or tingling around the site of the needle insertion. The Acupuncture needles used are very fine and thin, and are unlikely to cause any discomfort. In general, most patients describe acupuncture as very relaxing.
How deep do the Acupuncture needles go in?
Typically, the acupuncture needles are inserted to a depth of ¼ to 1 inch. Depth depends on the size of the person and the target structure and location.
How long are the Acupuncture needles left in place?
Once the needles are inserted, they are left in place for around 15-30 minutes, depending on the patient’s condition. During this time, the patient should remain still, relaxed and in a comfortable position.
Are the Acupuncture needles clean?
Polymed only uses sterilized, single use, stainless steel Acupuncture needles. Once the needles are removed from their sealed packaging they are only used once and then disposed of.
How many Acupuncture treatments does it take to get better?
This depends on the condition being treated. If the condition is fairly new and uncomplicated, a patient may only need up to five Acupuncture treatments. However, if it is a more serious condition the patient may require anywhere from five to 15 Acupuncture treatments. Some chronic conditions may require more sessions of Acupuncture.
How long does each Acupuncture treatment take?
The first visit will include a full assessment where the patient is asked a number of questions about his or her health. A focused regional physical exam follows. Following this, the first treatment is performed. This process takes about one hour, and around 30 minutes for subsequent treatments.
Do insurance plans cover Acupuncture?
Yes. The majority of Canadian workers have partial or full coverage for Acupuncture services in their workplace health care plans. Patients should check their individual extended health coverage plans to ensure adequate coverage. Polymed does provide acupuncture by Registered Acupuncturists. OHIP does not cover these services. The Acupuncture patient is provided with a detailed itemized receipt listing the services provided, the credentials of the treating Acupuncture Provider, as well as payment details for reimbursement.
Do I need a Doctor's prescription for Acupuncture?
Some insurance companies may require a note from a physician explaining why Acupuncture has been recommended. It is recommended that patients check with their insurance.