Acupuncture

Acupuncture Services - R&R Acupuncture

Acupuncture

What is Acupuncture? How does it work?

Acupuncture to help heal

Acupuncture promotes healing by assisting in the movement of your body’s natural energy, known as “Qi,” through the insertion of very fine needles along pathways in the body. It can be hard to imagine why a needle on your wrist can help anxiety, or why a needle on the side of your leg can help shoulder pain. Acupuncture is not magic! The effects of acupuncture can be explained in a couple of different ways.

From a Western medicine perspective, the effects of acupuncture directly relate to the nerves and the brain. Pressure points tend to be located near clusters of nerves, and nerves are responsible for communication between the brain and the body. When a needle is inserted into one of these pressure points, the nerves surrounding the acupuncture point communicate with the central nervous system, which is made up of the spinal cord and the brain. The brain then communicates back to the body: either through the release of endorphins, which are the body’s natural pain killers, or by sending a signal to stimulate parts of the body that are not functioning as highly as they should, which can boost movement, organ function, the immune system, and so on.

The Traditional Chinese Medicine explanation for acupuncture is all about the movement of energy. Energy is what enables us to move our body and use our mind. The energy in our head allows us to smile, talk, and blink. The energy in our organs allows us to pump blood or digest food. The term for this energy is “qi.” There are specific paths and directions that qi travels, with examples like blood flowing up to the brain, and food descending to digest. As long as the qi is free to move as it should, pain and illness do not occur. Qi can stop flowing the way that it should because of a deficiency in the body, a lack of energy in a certain area, a trauma such as a break or sprain, a blockage or stagnation, and many other reasons. Acupuncture needles inserted into specific points guide qi in the proper direction to break up stagnation, nourish the body, and stimulate healing.

Electro-Acupuncture

E-stim, Electro Acupuncture Pictured: Electrodes are connected to acupuncture needles in a female patient’s back for electrical stimulation therapy.

In some cases, acupuncturists may wish to stimulate acupuncture points by manipulating the needle, providing a stronger reaction to the treatment. The same effect can be achieved by attaching a small clip that delivers a mild pulse to the needles. Electrical stimulation is most commonly performed for pain, and may allow faster pain reduction and longer-lasting effects. 

What does Acupuncture treat?

When the body is healthy, there will be no pain or discomfort. When pain or discomfort arises, there is a disharmony in the body. Acupuncture treats the underlying issue, known as the “root cause,” in order to relieve symptoms and prevent future discomfort. Acupuncture has been used to treat many ailments, including but not limited to pain management, stress and anxiety, headaches and migraines, insomnia, addictions, allergies, acute colds and illnesses, digestive discomfort, fertility and menstrual irregularities, pregnancy support, and many more.

The World Health Organization recognizes acupuncture for an extensive list of diseases and health problems. This is not a complete list of diseases and illnesses that acupuncture can be used for.

The World Health Organization published a report in 2003 stating the following:

Diseases, symptoms or conditions for which acupuncture has been proved, through controlled trials, to be an effective treatment:

  • Adverse reactions to radiotherapy and/or chemotherapy
  • Allergic rhinitis (including hay fever)
  • Biliary colic
  • Depression
  • Dysentery (acute bacillary)
  • Dysmenorrhea (primary)
  • Epigastralgia (acute: in peptic ulcer, acute and chronic gastritis, and gastrospasm)
  • Facial pain Headache
  • Hypertension (essential)
  • Hypotension (primary)
  • Induction of labor Knee pain
  • Leukopenia

  • Low back pain
  • Malposition of fetus (correction)
  • Morning sickness
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Neck pain
  • Pain in dentistry
  • Periarthritis of shoulder
  • Postoperative pain
  • Renal colic
  • Rheumatoid arthritis
  • Sciatica
  • Sprain
  • Stroke
  • Tennis elbow

Diseases, symptoms or conditions for which the therapeutic effect of acupuncture has been shown but for which 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
  • Cholelithiasis
  • Competition stress syndrome
  • Craniocerebral injury (closed)
  • Diabetes mellitus (non-insulin-dependent)
  • Earache
  • Epidemic haemorrhagic fever
  • Epistaxis
  • Eye pain
  • Female infertility
  • Facial spasm
  • Female urethral syndrome
  • Fibromyalgia and fasciitis
  • Gastrokinetic disturbance
  • Gouty arthritis
  • Hepatitis B virus carrier status
  • Herpes zoster
  • Hyperlipaemia
  • Hypo-ovarianism
  • Insomnia
  • Labour pain
  • Lactation deficiency

  • Male sexual dysfunction
  • Meniere disease
  • Neuralgia (post-herpetic)
  • Neurodermatitis
  • Obesity
  • Opium, cocaine and heroin dependence
  • Osteoarthritis
  • Pain due to endoscopic examination
  • Polycystic ovary syndrome
  • Postoperative convalescence
  • Premenstrual syndrome
  • Prostatitis (chronic)
  • Pruritus
  • Radicular pain syndrome
  • Raynaud syndrome
  • Recurrent lower urinary-tract infection
  • Reflex sympathetic dystrophy
  • Retention of urine
  • Schizophrenia
  • Sjogren syndrome
  • Sore throat (including tonsillitis)
  • Spine pain Stiff neck
  • Temporomandibular joint dysfunction
  • Tobacco dependence
  • Tourette syndrome
  • Ulcerative colitis (chronic)
  • Urolithiasis
  • Vascular dementia
  • Whooping cough (pertussis)