Acupuncture is a therapeutic technique based on traditional Chinese medicine which has been around for more than 3000 years. Medical Acupuncture utilizes these concepts in conjunction with current research on neurophysiology, neuroanatomy and pathophysiology. A typical Acupuncture treatment consists of placing numerous needles in acupoints along meridians of the body. Electrical stimulation is sometimes used to enhance the effect of the needles. The number and location of these needles is dependant upon the current diagnosis.
Practitioners of Contemporary Medical Acupuncture use disposable sterilized needles making the risk of infection virtually non-existent. Acupuncture needles do not cause bleeding because the needles are so thin they actually pass between tissue cells. The philosophy behind Acupuncture is that it has a stimulating effect on the nervous system by improving energy flow along nerves, increasing production of neurotransmitters (communication signals), and increasing endorphin (pain-reducing hormone) levels in the brain. Acupuncture has been shown to be effective in the treatment of numerous conditions including osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, headaches, frozen shoulder and tennis elbow.
Electro-acupuncture may also be used by Contemporary Medical Acupuncturists. It is the application of a pulsating electrical current to acupuncture needles or pads. Acupuncture needles are inserted and manipulated to attain the qi reaction. They are then attached to an electrode to provide continuous stimulation. The electrical stimulation of the needles strengthens the circulation of qi and blood.