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What is acupuncture?

Acupuncture is one of the safest and painless therapeutic modalities. Its benefits are enormous and its approach to the body is unique, at least when compared to the Western approach towards health and wellness. Acupuncture has been around for around 3500 years in China. It is one of the oldest forms of medicine practiced today. Acupuncture is about freeing up the qi (chee) by clearing up blockages in the meridian channels that flow through your body. Meridian channels are a network of channels that flow through the body like how blood flows through the body. The collective system of meridian channels is called Jingmai. An acupuncturist will spend years of their life studying the Jingmai and respective meridian channels in order to know where to place the acupuncture needles to free up the qi. The reason it takes years is because on one body there are at least 2000 acupuncture points each interlocked between 20 different pathways. Understanding how all these pathways interact and affect your body takes an extraordinary amount of time.

How does acupuncture work?

When qi is blocked this can cause different ailments, pains, and sicknesses. In the Western world we see these issues in a physiological way meaning we see how injury affects cells, body movement, muscle tonicity and so forth. Western treatments use modalities like photobiomodulation, muscle scraping, thermotherapy, and so forth to cause a change in the physiology to improve and promote healing. Acupuncture is also promoting healing, but it is seeing the problem in the qi flow being blocked through the meridian channels. When blockages in the qi occur the body shows the symptoms through pain and sickness. By freeing the flow of qi you can treat many different ailments. The World Health Organization has a list of known ailments that can be treated by acupuncture.

  • Adverse reactions to radiotherapy and/or chemotherapy
  • Allergic rhinitis (including hay fever)
  • Biliary colic
  • Depression (including depressive neurosis and depression following stroke)
  • Dysentery, acute bacillary
  • Dysmenorrhoea, primary
  • Epigastralgia, acute (in peptic ulcer, acute and chronic gastritis, and gastrospasm)
  • Facial pain (including craniomandibular disorders)
  • Headache
  • Hypertension, essential
  • Hypotension, primary
  • Induction of labour
  • Knee pain
  • Leukopenia
  • Low back pain
  • Malposition of fetus, correction of
  • Morning sickness
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Neck pain
  • Pain in dentistry (including dental pain and temporomandibular dysfunction)
  • Periarthritis of shoulder
  • Postoperative pain
  • Renal colic
  • Rheumatoid arthritis
  • Sciatica
  • Sprain
  • Stroke
  • Tennis elbow

Diseases, symptoms or conditions for which The World Health Organisation recommends acupuncture because its therapeutic effect has been shown, although further proof is needed:

  • Abdominal pain (in acute gastroenteritis or due to gastrointestinal spasm)
  • Acne vulgaris
  • Alcohol dependence and detoxification
  • Bell’s palsy
  • Bronchial asthma
  • Cancer pain
  • Cardiac neurosis
  • Cholecystitis, chronic, with acute exacerbation
  • Cholelithiasis
  • Competition stress syndrome
  • Craniocerebral injury, closed
  • Diabetes mellitus, non-insulin-dependent
  • Earache
  • Epidemic haemorrhagic fever
  • Epistaxis, simple (without generalised or local disease)
  • Eye pain due to subconjunctival injection
  • Female infertility
  • Facial spasm
  • Female urethral syndrome
  • Fibromyalgia and fasciitis
  • Gastrokinetic disturbance
  • Gouty arthritis
  • Hepatitis B virus carrier status
  • Herpes zoster (human (alpha) herpes virus 3)
  • Hyperlipaemia
  • Hypo-ovarianism
  • Insomnia
  • Labour pain
  • Lactation, deficiency
  • Male sexual dysfunction, non-organic
  • Ménière disease
  • Neuralgia, post-herpetic
  • Neurodermatitis
  • Obesity
  • Opium, cocaine and heroin dependence
  • Osteoarthritis
  • Pain due to endoscopic examination
  • Pain in thromboangiitis obliterans
  • Polycystic ovary syndrome (Stein–Leventhal syndrome)
  • Postextubation in children
  • Postoperative convalescence
  • Premenstrual syndrome
  • Prostatitis, chronic
  • Pruritus
  • Radicular and pseudoradicular pain syndrome
  • Raynaud syndrome, primary
  • Recurrent lower urinary-tract infection
  • Reflex sympathetic dystrophy
  • Retention of urine, traumatic
  • Schizophrenia
  • Sialism, drug-induced
  • Sjögren syndrome
  • Sore throat (including tonsillitis)
  • Spine pain, acute
  • Stiff neck
  • Temporomandibular joint dysfunction
  • Tietze syndrome
  • Tobacco dependence
  • Tourette syndrome
  • Ulcerative colitis, chronic
  • Urolithiasis
  • Vascular dementia
  • Whooping cough (pertussis)

Diseases, symptoms or conditions for which only individual controlled trials report some therapeutic effects.  The World Health Organisation recommends acupuncture for these when treatment by conventional and other therapies is difficult:

  • Chloasma
  • Choroidopathy, central serous
  • Colour blindness
  • Deafness
  • Hypophrenia
  • Irritable colon syndrome
  • Neuropathic bladder due to spinal cord injury
  • Pulmonary heart disease, chronic
  • Small airway obstruction

Does acupuncture work?

One of the best parts of acupuncture is it is noninvasive, safe, and it works! The needles themselves are hair thin and do not need to go very deep in comparison to other practices involving needles (like dry needling). Here at Athlecare we will mainly be using acupuncture to treat any pain or injury you have. Using acupuncture and our Western treatments, we have created a beautiful blend of Western and Eastern concepts to help you recover from any injury, improve your performance, and prevent injury.

Photo by Katherine Hanlon on Unsplash

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