At BIHC acupuncture is used by a variety of practitioners, in a variety of ways. Below are descriptions of acupuncture from a more traditional Chinese perspective and from a modern contemporary understanding.
Acupuncture is a type of alternative medicine that treats patients by insertion and manipulation of solid, generally thin needles in the body. Acupuncture has been used for thousands of years and is a main concept in today’s Traditional Chinese Medicine. Its origin theory is based on the premise that bodily functions are regulated by the flow of energy-like entity called qi. Acupuncture, from that traditional perspective, aims to correct any imbalances in this flow by stimulation of anatomical locations on or under the skin called acupuncture points, typically connected by channels known as meridians. At BIHC the Naturopathic doctor performs this type of acupuncture.
Contemporary Acupuncture takes an ancient therapy and re-defines its mechanisms and effects using present-day scientific understanding of human physiology. In contemporary acupuncture, your practitioner treats you only after a conventional medical/neuro-functional diagnosis has been made. The practitioner will use acupuncture as a treatment modality along with other therapeutic approaches, as needed. The contemporary acupuncture practitioner applies treatment following a conventional (scientific) view and regards the acupuncture as having certain local tissue effects as well as providing segmental analgesia, extra-segmental analgesia, as well as central regulatory effects on the nervous system.
Acupuncture produces many of its effects by stimulating nerve receptors in skin and muscle. Various substances are released that cause an increase of local blood flow that encourages tissue healing.
Acupuncture can be effective as the only treatment or as an adjunct to other therapeutic interventions. The World Health Organization recognizes the use of acupuncture in the treatment of:
- Acupuncture helps to reduce pain locally where the needles are inserted and throughout the body.
- Acupuncture has a calming effect and produces well-being.
- Acupuncture inactivates myofascial trigger points.
- Acupuncture has effects on the brain.
- The effects of acupuncture accumulate when repeated.
- Neurological and muscular disorders: headaches, neck and back pain, sports injuries, sciatica, osteoarthritis, neuritis and facial pain
- Digestive disorders: irritable bowel, constipation, diarrhea and gastritis
- Menstrual and reproductive problems: dysmenorrhea and perimenopausal symptoms
- Urinary tract disorders: prostatitis and bladder dysfunction
- Respiratory problems: sinusitis, asthma, sore throat and recurrent respiratory tract infections
- Stress and psycho-emotional problems
Dr. Matthew Wong
Dr. Ben Osborne
Dr. Tomas Ellis