Acupuncture is the insertion of thin, metal needles to stimulate specific points of the body that reach meridians. These stimulation points are called acupuncture points or acupoints. Traditional Chinese medicine holds that there are 365 commonly used acupuncture points on 20 meridians of the human body. Typically, it takes 15 to 30 minutes of manipulating the needles in these acupuncture points and 30 to 60 minutes of retaining the needles. By doing so, it regulates the flow of qi throughout the body and restores health to the mind and body, thus balancing the yin and yang. The insertions of needles are manipulated either by the hand or by electrical stimulation, called electroacupuncture.
Is it safe? Does it hurt?
Needles inserted during an acupuncture treatment should be painless. Every patient experience is different; patients may experience bruising, bleeding, needle site pain and sensation, or needle fainting. However, these symptoms may be expected (minimal bleeding) and desired (tingle, tight sensation - "de qi response"). Patients should inform the practitioner if any discomfort arises.
If any other option if you don't like needless during an acupuncture session?
Traditional Chinese Medicine Practitioners use a number of treatment options based on the patient's diagnosis. This may include a combination of treatment modalities, such as acupuncture, moxibustion, cupping, gua sha, and Tui-na massage.
Is dry needling the same as TCM acupuncture?
Dry needling is a technique used by Western practitioners such as physiotherapists, chiropractors, occupational therapists etc. based on strictly body anatomy in opposed to TCM principles. Thin metal needles are inserted in specific muscle trigger points to release tension and pain. Dry needling does not apply any TCM principles or diagnosis. Hence, dry-needling practitioners are not necessarily receiving the same level of training as set out by the standards of our College. In other words, those who practise dry needling might not meet the requirements to use the title of "Registered Acupuncturist" or "Registered Traditional Chinese Medicine Practitioner" in the province of Ontario.