History of Acupuncture
Acupuncture is the insertion of thin, sterile needles into different locations of the body to
treat pain. It originates from ancient Chinese medicine where it is believed that the body is
kept healthy and pain free by the movement of Qi (our life force). This Qi moves through
specific pathways in our bodies called Meridians. If the Qi is stuck along the Meridians,
it creates a painful sensation in that area. We can liken this to a highway where traffic moves continuously until there is an accident or a stalled car now traffic has to squeeze through less space creating congestion. Needles are placed at certain locations to free the stuck Qi, relieving the pain (like a modern day tow truck clearing the obstruction so traffic can move again).
How it works
Today, medical practitioners use acupuncture as a complement to traditional Western medicine. Although it is not certain how the pain-relieving effects of acupuncture work, there are some evidence based hypotheses. A major belief is the needles stimulate our bodies’ systems to release hormones such as opiates that make us naturally feel better. Recently, medical practitioners have started to stimulate the needles with an electrical current to further induce the pain-relieving effects which is called electro-acupuncture.
How we use it at Sporting Edge Physiotherapy
As western medical acupuncture practitioners and intramuscular stimulation practitioners the Physiotherapists @ Sporting Edge Physiotherapy use acupuncture needles to release muscles from spasm by stimulating the neuromuscular junction. This is where the muscle and nerve meet which is highly excitable. Although it is not certain how acupuncture works, patients who have tried acupuncture display positive benefits in terms of reducing pain. So next time you are experiencing pain, don’t be afraid to ask one of our Physiotherapists for acupuncture! The benefits of acupuncture are not restricted to just reducing muscle pain; it can help with insomnia, headaches, and more!