Acupuncture Therapy Edmonton

Acupuncture Therapy Edmonton | Eastwood® Physiotherapy

Acupuncture Therapy Edmonton

Acupuncture, a cornerstone of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), is a therapeutic modality with an impressive lineage tracing back thousands of years. The practice involves the insertion of extremely fine needles into certain points on the body to stimulate the flow of life energy or “qi,” thus promoting health and balance within the body.

An Overview of Acupuncture

Acupuncture centers on the belief that the human body is a complex network of interconnected pathways or meridians, along which the vital life force, qi, circulates. When this flow becomes blocked or unbalanced, illness can result. Acupuncturists aim to restore harmony by inserting needles into specific points along these meridians, known as acupuncture points.

The acupuncture needles used are typically made of stainless steel, ensuring they resist breaking or rusting, and are usually very thin, often not much thicker than human hair. Their minuscule size helps ensure the procedure is as comfortable as possible.

Mechanism of Action

Viewed through the lens of Western medicine, studies indicate that acupuncture triggers the nervous system to liberate certain chemicals present in the muscles, spinal cord, and brain. These substances can alter pain perception or stimulate the release of additional compounds like hormones. Such activity can profoundly impact the body’s self-regulating mechanisms.

Conditions Treated by Acupuncture

Acupuncture is renowned for its ability to manage a plethora of conditions. Its extensive applications range from pain relief to managing mental health concerns, highlighting its versatility. Here, we delve deeper into some of the conditions that can be treated using acupuncture:

  1. Chronic Pain: Acupuncture has proven to be a beneficial treatment for chronic pain, especially conditions such as migraines, arthritis, fibromyalgia, and lower back pain. By stimulating specific points, acupuncture can alter pain perception and promote the release of endorphins, the body’s natural pain-killing chemicals.
  2. Mental Health Disorders: Mental health conditions, including anxiety and depression, can also be alleviated through acupuncture. The treatment modulates the nervous system’s activity, thereby enhancing mood and reducing stress.
  3. Insomnia: Acupuncture can also aid those struggling with sleep disorders like insomnia. Research suggests that acupuncture can increase the secretion of nocturnal melatonin, a hormone that regulates sleep and wakefulness, thereby improving sleep quality.
  4. Digestive Disorders: Digestive issues, such as irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) and gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), may also be managed effectively with acupuncture. By influencing the enteric nervous system, acupuncture can modulate gut motility, secretion, and perception, leading to symptom relief.
  5. Respiratory Disorders: Conditions like allergic rhinitis, asthma, and bronchitis may benefit from acupuncture, which may reduce inflammation and modulate immune responses to provide relief.
  6. Neurological Disorders: Acupuncture is often used in managing neurological disorders like Parkinson’s disease and multiple sclerosis. It can help alleviate symptoms such as tremors, muscle stiffness, and walking difficulties.
  7. Gynecological and Fertility Issues: Acupuncture can help regulate menstrual cycles, relieve menstrual pain, and manage symptoms of menopause. In the realm of fertility, it has been utilized to increase the success of in vitro fertilization (IVF) by improving uterine blood flow and reducing stress.
  8. Chemotherapy-Induced Nausea and Vomiting: Acupuncture can be an effective adjunct treatment for controlling chemotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting, significantly improving the quality of life for cancer patients.

This is by no means an exhaustive list. Given the holistic approach of acupuncture, it can be utilized in the management of many other conditions, underscoring the versatility of this ancient therapeutic modality. As always, it’s essential to consult with a healthcare provider to see if acupuncture is the right choice for your individual health needs.

The Procedure and What to Expect

An acupuncture session typically begins with a comprehensive health assessment. The acupuncturist will ask about your symptoms, lifestyle, and overall health. The practitioner may also examine the locations of your pain, your tongue’s colour and shape, and the quality, strength and rhythm of the pulse at your wrist.

Based on the initial consultation, the acupuncturist will make a diagnosis and formulate a treatment plan, choosing the acupuncture points that will be targeted. The needles are then inserted, with most patients experiencing minimal discomfort. The needles are usually left in place for five to 30 minutes while the patient lies still and relaxes.

Safety and Considerations in Acupuncture Therapy

Acupuncture is generally safe when administered by a trained practitioner. Some people may experience minor side effects like minor bleeding, soreness, or bruising at the sites where the needle was inserted. Serious complications are rare. It’s important to use a certified practitioner who uses sterile, single-use needles to avoid any potential risks, such as infection.

And it may not be recommended for everyone. Individuals with bleeding disorders, those on anticoagulant therapy, or those with a pacemaker should exercise caution due to the risk of excessive bleeding or potential electrical interference. Pregnant women should also be cautious, especially in their first trimester, as certain acupuncture points can stimulate uterine contractions. Lastly, individuals with compromised immune systems should consider the potential risk of infection, even though it’s rare. Always consult a healthcare provider to assess whether acupuncture is appropriate for your health.


Acupuncture, a significant component of Traditional Chinese Medicine, offers a holistic approach to health, aiming not just to treat specific symptoms but to enhance overall well-being. Here at Eastwood Physiotherapy Clinic, our experienced practitioners are committed to integrating the ancient wisdom of acupuncture with modern healthcare practices, offering our patients a comprehensive and personalized treatment experience. Unblocking your path to wellness with Eastwood Physiotherapy.