Acupuncture: Traditional Medicine for Modern Pain
For centuries, acupuncturists have used the techniques of acupuncture to treat many health conditions and aspects of pain. “Acupuncture is the procedure of inserting and manipulating needles into various points on the body to relieve pain or for therapeutic purposes – the needles have no drugs or medication in them,” explains Dr. Fabio Di Stefano, Chiropractor, Acupuncturist and Clinic Director of Promedx Sports Injury and Wellness Centre in Thornhill. “The needles on their own have therapeutic/healing effects.”
Acupuncture works in many different ways to help heal. “It stimulates the release of pain-relieving endorphins,” says Dr. Di Stefano. “As well, it influences the release of neurotransmitters, substances that transmit nerve impulses to the brain.” There are many other effects with the use of acupuncture including influencing the autonomic nervous system and the electrical currents of the body, as well as stimulating circulation.
For those concerned that there may be pain related to acupuncture, Dr. Di Stefano clarifies the procedure. “Upon insertion, the client may feel a slight sting or prick. Once the needle is inserted, there should be no pain. You should feel comfortable during the treatment.”
For those nervous about the prospect of being “pricked” by needles, other options are available. “Needles are not always used for acupuncture. Therapeutic points of the body can also be stimulated by pressure, laser therapy or cupping where we apply cups to create suctioning of the skin,” explains Dr. Di Stefano.
Common conditions and ailments acupuncture can help treat include:
- Common cold
- Addictions (smoking, etc.)
- Trigeminal neuralgia
- Meniere’s disease
- Joint pain
- Menstrual cramps
- Lower back pain