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Today we live in a fast-paced lifestyle. High stress can cause many health related problems, such as hypertension, diabetes and primary headache.
A headache is when one experiences pain in the head, which may be caused by tension, muscular contraction, vascular dilation or contraction, inflammation, or injury. A primary headache is caused by problems with or over activity of pain-sensitive structures in your head. A primary headache isn’t a symptom of an underlying disease. The most common primary headaches are tension headache, migraine and cluster headache.
Acupuncture as an alternative pain relief method
For those suffering from primary headache, most people usually have a long history of taking medications which can cause various side effects on our bodies. As an alternative treatment, acupuncture is a safe and effective way for chronic headaches. It can relieve headaches and cut down the frequency of migraines, without having the side effects of taking medications.
How does acupuncture work?
The general theory of acupuncture is based on Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM). TCM believes that there are patterns of energy (Qi) flowing through the body in many channels. The Qi is essential for good health. Any weakness, imbalance or un-regulation of Qi will cause health problems. Acupuncture needles directed at the right pressure points can stimulate, disperse and regulate the flow of Qi. Optimally, acupuncture can also balance bodily organ functions.
In Western medical terms, acupuncture can promote blood flow in the tissues. It will periodically dilate the small vessels where blood flow is poor, which generally is considered a cause of most chronic headaches and migraines. Acupuncture also helps to relieve muscle contractions that occur in tension headaches.
Acupuncture will reduce stress by adjusting the nervous system’s functions. It can calm and soothe nerves which can then reduce stress. By choosing specific points in many channels, acupuncture will either stimulate or inhibit the sympathetic or parasympathetic nervous system. Depending on the condition and the pressure points used, acupuncture can adjust their functions and bring a balance between the two opposing nervous systems, as well as other organ systems. This is why acupuncture has significant effects on relieving stress and improving holistic well-being.
How long and how often should I receive acupuncture treatments?
A typical acupuncture session involves the insertion of fine needles into acupuncture points on the body. The needles will be left in those points for 15- 20 minutes. Often, gentle manipulation of the needles will strengthen or reduce Qi flow. Usually, treatments are 30 minutes each, 2-3 times per week.
Is acupuncture painful?
Acupuncture needles are very thin just like a fine hair. When an experienced practitioner inserts these needles, most patients experience only minor discomfort or no pain at all.
Is acupuncture safe?
Acupuncture generally is very safe and considered as side effects-free. A registered practitioner is knowledgeable about the anatomy of the human body and possesses the proper skills for acupuncture techniques. Single-use needles are always used for infection control. It is generally advised against having acupuncture treatments on an empty stomach, as it can sometimes stimulate a dizziness feeling.
Ready to schedule an acupuncture appointment? Contact our Don Mills and Thornhill clinics if you have any questions regarding acupuncture treatment. We would be happy to assist you toward a healthy recovery.