What is Acupuncture?

Acupuncture is a form of treatment from Traditional Chinese Medicine that is used to restore a person to good health. It involved the insertion of very thin and flexible needles in to specific points on the human body, called acupoints to help treat pain, inflammation or pathology. It has almost no side-effects and has been gaining popularity in Western medicine for many decades.

What does acupuncture do? Or How does acupuncture work?

Current evidence suggests that the insertion of a needle into an acupoint stimulates nerves travelling to the spinal cord which help to modulate the transmission of pain. This signal allows for chemicals (neurotransmitters and endorphins) to be released in the brain to help reduce pain. In addition, when a needle is inserted into an acupuncture point, it causes a local immune response and increases circulation to the area to help with swelling and to promote tissue healing.

Is acupuncture right for you?

Everyone is different, so it is best to speak to your health care practitioner regarding your suitability for acupuncture. Generally, acupuncture can help to treat pain, swelling, inflammation and restrictions associated with acute and chronic musculoskeletal disorders.

What types of problems can acupuncture help?

The following are some conditions that can be treated with acupuncture.

  • Muscles strains
  • Ligament Sprains
  • Low back pain
  • Osteoarthritis
  • Headaches
  • Whiplash
  • Tendinitis
  • Rotator cuff injuries
  • Tennis elbow
  • Carpal tunnel syndrome
  • Sciatica
  • Disc bulge
  • Degenerative disc disease
  • Shin splint syndrome
  • Bursitis
  • TMJ pain

Does acupuncture hurt?

Everyone experiences acupuncture differently, but most people find that acupuncture treatments are relaxing and cause minimal pain. You may experience some temporary discomfort as the needles are inserted or a mild aching sensation or warmth around the needle site.

What are the side effects of acupuncture? Is acupuncture safe?

While side-effects of acupuncture are minimal, possible side effects include slight bruising, achiness and minimal bleeding at the site of insertion. Only single-use, sterile needles are used to prevent infection or transmitted diseased.

Is acupuncture covered by my extended health care benefits?

At ALPHA health services, acupuncture is offered by registered physiotherapists and acupuncture providers. The physiotherapists use acupuncture in combination with other physiotherapy techniques to treat musculoskeletal disorders. All assessments and treatments are billed under physiotherapy, which is covered by most insurance plans.

Before and after acupuncture

It is recommended to eat a light meal before you receive acupuncture. Continue to take any prescribed medications. Strenuous physical activities (including exercise) should be avoided for at least two hours after treatment.

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ALPHA Midtown

40 Holly Street, Suite 901
Toronto, ON M4S 3C3



14 St. Matthews Rd G.008 (Located within Hennick Bridgepoint Hospital) Toronto, ON M4M 2B5