Acupuncture is one component of Traditional Chinese Medicine which aims to balance energy in the body in order to keep it functional and healthy.
Needles are placed at specific acupuncture points, which are places on the skin that have a lower resistance to the passage of electricity than the surrounding skin and are part of a network of points that were mapped centuries ago by the Chinese. Most are found along ‘meridians’ or ‘channels’ that are believed to be the pathways by which energy or Qi (pronounced ‘Chee’) flows through the body. Acupuncture stimulates the body to produce its own pain relieving chemicals called endorphins. The improved energy and biochemical balance produced by acupuncture stimulates the body’s natural healing abilities.
Wellington Ortho & Rehab AFCI-trained practitioners of acupuncture use only single-use, sterile disposable needles and have been trained regarding precautions and contraindications to acupuncture.
You can access our acupuncture practitioners with or without a referral from your family physician.
At Wellington Ortho & Rehab, our Physiotherapy Team often uses acupuncture as a tool in their overall treatment of your painful condition. As such, the treatment is often covered under the physiotherapy allowance of your extended health benefit. Some insurance plans do offer specific coverage for acupuncture treatment. To find out if your plan covers acupuncture specifically, and any limits to the number of treatments covered, you should contact your insurance company directly. Furthermore, acupuncture is often also covered if you sustained a workplace injury or were injured in a motor vehicle accident.
Acupuncture needles are very fine, flexible and rounded but sharp at the tip. They are ‘atraumatic’, meaning that they do not have a cutting edge like a hypodermic needle, which slices through tissue. Their design allows acupuncture needles to slide smoothly through tissues and makes them unlikely to cause bleeding or damage to underlying structures. Everyone experiences acupuncture differently, but most feel no pain or very minimal pain as the needles are inserted. You may experience a mild aching sensation or warmth around the needle site.
Many people see a significant difference within one to two treatments but some take longer to respond, perhaps 5 or 6 sessions, depending on the condition being treated. If no difference is felt by the end of the fifth or sixth treatment, the diagnosis of the condition should be reconsidered and further medical investigations may be needed. Chronic conditions may need repeat maintenance treatments to maintain the momentum after an initial period of frequent treatments. Post treatment exercise and discipline in diet is extremely important for continued improvement and recovery. Generally treatments every second day (Mon, Wed and Fri) would be considered frequent treatment. Maintenance treatments could range from weekly to monthly or when symptoms begin to recur.
It is important to notify the practitioner if you are pregnant or could possibly be pregnant, as acupuncture treatment may have to be modified or may not be appropriate.