Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) has a long standing history in Eastern medicine and has been used for thousands of years by the community to treat many ailments of the body. In the last 50 years, acupuncture started to rise in popularity in the Western world and in the last 20 years, it became a recognized health profession under the Health Professions Act.
Western doctors and other practitioners started to notice the effectiveness of using TCM and accupuncture principles for the treatment of certain ailments that were not responding favorably to the western approach.
In today’s world, acupuncture has become widely accepted as an alternative form of medicine that is drug free, low risk and very effective for treatment of many ailments of the body. All registered acupuncturists have completed 1900 hours of studies and clinical practice training to obtain their license from the College of Traditional Chinese Medicine and are regulated according to their college bylaws.
What is acupuncture?
Acupuncture is a form of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) that aims to stimulate the flow of energy (Qi) throughout the body.
In Chinese Medicine, it was believed that our body is like a highway (The Meridian) for the flow of energy and certain points (Acupoints) are like the gateways. Acupoints are important points that stimulate nerves, muscles and connective tissues and by stimulating these points, we can help restore the flow of Qi to achieve perfect balance and boost the body’s natural pain inhibiting responses.
In acupuncture, extremely thin sterile and disposable needles are used to stimulate the acupoints determined during the assessment to be a problem. Due to the fineness of the needles, most patients only feel the initial light poke and after, they barely feel the presence of the needles on their body.
Acupuncturists also use other techniques such as cupping, bloodletting and when appropriate, can provide certain home care advice and lifestyle modification suggestions to help improve your overall health and support you in your healing journey.
CONDITIONS TREATED BY ACUPUNCTURE
Acupuncture is effective for the treatment of both chronic pain as well as acute pain. Many patients who have just suffered an injury experience acute pain and swelling and acupuncture is very helpful to reduce overall systemic inflammation. In chronic pain management, the stimulation of acupoints for chronic pain management has had very good results, especially chronic pain that lingers after a car accident.
A recent study showed that receiving only 3 visits of acupuncture treatment before IVF treatment significantly increased the pregnancy rates in women with unexplained infertility. It was also found that acupuncture significantly reduced anxiety levels that occurred before ET.
Acupuncture has been studied for its effective weight loss. It has been demonstrated that acupuncture treatment has an effect on appetite, intestinal mobility, metabolism and other emotional factors that lead to emotional eating. Its effect on the release of plasma endorphins has also shown to have an effect on fat cell breakdowns. It can affect appetite, intestinal motility, and metabolism, as well as emotional factors such as stress.
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There is a high prevalence of anxiety and depression, specially in the female population. These conditions are difficult to treat and medications often have many undesirable side effects. There is strong evidence that the use of acupuncture is an effective treatment modality for the treatment of anxiety and stress, particularly in women and specially those that are pregnant.
The mechanism is thought to be through production of the natural feel-good hormones to help reduce the levels of cortisol in the body, which is our stress hormone.
There is growing evidence for the effectiveness of acupuncture and its role in the treatment of migraine headaches. This form of treatment has had a positive impact in both the duration and frequency of migraine attacks. In addition, patients that received acupuncture care for their migraines had overall less usage of painkillers. Furthermore, this modality is safe, efficacious and readily available as an alternative therapy.
In TCM, it is believed that one cause of depression can be from the stagnation of energy in some organs due to emotional stress which causes imbalance between the mind and ethereal soul. Through opening Qi channels acupuncture can assist in restoring the flow of energy between the affected organs and bringing back the balance of mind and spirit.
Scientifically, it has been shown that acupuncture treatments increase the content of gabba-amino butyric acid which is an important biomolecule for sleep quality. Acupuncture’s mechanism is also in regulating the yin and the yang of the body, reinforcing health and eliminating pathogenic responses which in turn improves sleep.
Chronic pain is pain that persists over time, long after the original injury has healed. In clinical studies, it has been shown that acupuncture has a positive impact on chronic pain management that was superior to placebo alone.
Many factors such as choosing specific acupressure points, chronicity of the pain and acupuncture techniques used play a role in the treatment outcome. Referral for acupuncture treatment is a reasonable option for chronic pain management as it can help avoid long term use of pain medications and minimize their undesirable side effects.
In the recent meta analysis review of suggested acupuncture as an effective management strategy for sciatica in combination with spinal manipulation. Other studies have also shown that in the long term, conservative care such as acupuncture, chiropractic, massage or physiotherapy have similar outcomes as the surgical group although the immediate pain reduction performed better than the conservative treatment group.
Moderate‐quality evidence suggests that acupuncture can help relieve neck pain better than sham acupuncture, as measured at completion of treatment and at short‐term follow‐up, and that those who received acupuncture report less pain and disability at short‐term follow‐up than those on a wait‐list. Moderate‐quality evidence also indicates that acupuncture is more effective than inactive treatment for relieving pain at short‐term follow‐up.
The effectiveness of acupuncture has been studied and there is evidence in the literature that suggests acupuncture is superior to placebo treatments for the treatment of chronic knee pain. Acupuncture is a safe, low risk modality that can help with the management of knee pain, such as those from osteoarthritis.
Tendonitis and Shoulder Pain/Frozen Shoulder
Shoulder pain and types of tendonitis associated with the shoulder is one of the most common musculoskeletal complaints. Tendonitis significantly impacts a person’s health related quality of life and impacts their ability to perform their day to day tasks.
Acupuncture is commonly used for musculoskeletal related disorders such as tendonitis of the shoulder, elbow and more. This treatment modality is an important non surgical intervention for management of tendonitis, particularly chronic tendonitis such as persistent shoulder pain.
HOW DOES ACUPUNCTURE WORK?
Accumulating data from many studies that investigate how acupuncture works, it has been proposed that acupuncture’s positive benefits are through regulating the nervous system, helping the activity of the pain killing biochemicals such as endorphins and other immune system cells of the body.
Other studies have shown that acupuncture can alter brain chemistry through release of neurotransmitters that impact our body’s senses and involuntary body functions such as immune responses, blood pressure, blood flow and more.
Meet Our Coquitlam Acupuncturist
Farshid is a Registered Acupuncturist with the College of Acupuncturists of BC (CTCMA). He received his diploma of acupuncture from Reeves College in 2019. Prior to that, Farshid practiced as a family physician in his home country for over 10 years. Farshid has many years of western medical background, he is able to effectively integrate western and eastern medicine in his daily practice.
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What to expect in an acupuncture session?
In an acupuncture session performed by Fulcrum Therapy acupuncturists, you can expect the following items:
- A complete medical assessment, history and exam during your initial visit. The registered acupuncturist will check your pulse, tongue and ears to arrive at a diagnosis.
- Based on the information obtained during the assessment, the acupuncturists will develop a customized and personalized treatment plan to address your unique individual needs and concerns. The treatment plan is designed to address the root cause of the issue and to help eliminate associated symptoms.
- An acupuncture treatment can include the use of fine, sterile and disposable needles in certain specific acupoints and can remain in the body anywhere from 10-30 minutes based on the patient’s comfort level and needs. It is possible that the acupuncturist manipulates the needles by a gentle tug or twist and to also apply an electrical pulse to them. While the needles are in, you may feel a rush or flow of energy, this is the movement of Qi.
Why choose fulcrum therapy accupuncture treatment?
At fulcrum, we have a full body wellness approach. We listen and focus on your primary issue but we don’t stop there. We believe every individual can reach their full health and wellness potential with an approach that is holistic and doesn’t just stop at working on “what hurts”.
Acupuncture is a perfect example of that treatment. Each visit is focused on your primary issue but we don’t just stop there. During each visit, we aim to provide a holistic approach, treating from head to toe and balancing your body’s nervous system which in turn, will also positively impact the main complaint area. Our team works together and if our practitioner sees fit that you see another practitioner to complement your acupuncture care, they will gladly make the appropriate referral.
At Fulcrum Therapy, leave your care in our experts’ hands. Your health and speedy recovery is our number one priority.
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