I don’t have any pain, so why would I consider Contemporary Medical Acupuncture treatment?
Ever notice that when training a certain muscle you plateau and don’t seem to be making any more progress? You increase reps, add more weight, and still do not see any results. Continuing to challenge your body with more than it can comfortably handle can (and usually does) lead to injuries of other muscles or joints that are being forced to compensate for the targeted muscle. That is because you are activating the wrong body system–the muscle you have been trying to strengthen is ‘neurologically weak’ NOT ‘physiologically weak’.
When a muscle is ‘neurologically weak’, the nerve fibres going to this muscle have gotten stuck somewhere along the way and the input that the muscle is receiving is reduced. This neural interference can be due to a number of factors including past trauma, improper muscle use or even inactivity (because if you don’t use it, you lose it). No matter what is causing this interference, the goal of treatment is to up-regulate the nerve so that an increased neurological signal is being received at the affected muscle. By restoring proper neuromuscular function, an effective strengthening program can be implemented and results can finally be seen!
What is Contemporary Medical Acupuncture?
Contemporary Medical Acupuncture uses a modern scientific understanding of the human body to redefine the mechanisms and effects of traditional acupuncture. Just like in traditional acupuncture, small, thin needles are placed in carefully selected points throughout the body and left in place for a duration of time (with or without manual or electrical stimulation).
With Contemporary Medical Acupuncture, a neuro-functional diagnosis is established following a comprehensive physical examination. Needle insertion is based on the practitioners’ extensive knowledge of neuromuscular anatomy in order to affect nerve signals and/or muscular tone.
How does Contemporary Medical Acupuncture work?
By stimulating various nerve receptors in skin and muscles, the body releases various substances that lead to an increase in local blood flow which encourages tissue healing. Therefore, acupuncture has been shown effective in reducing pain locally (where the needles are inserted), reducing pain systemically (by affecting brain activity), inactivating myofascial trigger points, improving energy, calming the body, and promoting physical and emotional well-being.
Contemporary Medical Acupuncture treatments may result in a temporary relief or disappearance of symptoms, and other times may result in permanent resolution of the dysfunction, especially when dysregulation of the nervous system is the underlying mechanism causing the pathology.
The goal of Contemporary Medical Acupuncture treatment is to restore proper function to the nervous system. This can be achieved by either ‘up-regulating’ or ‘down-regulating’ specific neurological targets. For example, symptoms of stress and chronic pain are caused by a hyper-active nervous system, therefore the target of treatment would be to restore optimal level of function by “dimming” the nervous system down. In contrast, findings of muscle inhibition and weakness are signs of a hypo-active nervous system and thus the aim of treatment would be to “turn up” the nervous system.
What conditions can Contemporary Medical Acupuncture help with?
Acupuncture can be effective as a sole treatment, as well as a treatment modality in conjunction with other therapeutic interventions. Acupuncture has been shown effective in the treatment of:
- Neurological and muscular disorders: headaches, neck pain, back pain, sports injuries, sciatica, osteoarthritis, neuritis and fascial pain
- Digestive disorders: irritable bowel, constipation, diarrhea and gastritis
- Menstrual and reproductive problems: dysmenorrheal 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
Is Contemporary Medical Acupuncture painful?
Many people associate the needles used in acupuncture with the needles used for other purposes such as giving blood or administering flu shots (which are designed to be thick and hollow in order to serve their purpose of drawing blood or injecting fluid). However, acupuncture needles are very different. They are fine, thin and fairly flexible, measuring approximately 0.22mm in diameter–that’s as thin as a human hair!
Is Contemporary Medical Acupuncture safe?
Acupuncture is considered a safe treatment modality when compared with other treatment interventions as serious side effects are very rare. Single-use, sterile, disposable needles are used to further enhance patient safety.
About our Chiropractor
Dr. Sara Santoli holds a Bachelor of Science Degree in Kinesiology and Health Sciences from York University, where she graduated Magna Cum Laude. It was during her time at York University that she developed a passion for health and rehabilitation. While exploring her future career options, she looked to shadow as many health practitioners as possible. It was chiropractic that inevitably sparked her interest. Dr. Santoli loved the relationship the Chiropractor was able to have with patients, in that it was a partnership of care. She was amazed to see how effective using an all natural, hands-on approach to health proved to be. It was after that experience that she knew chiropractic was the profession for her. She graduated Cum Laude with a Doctor of Chiropractic Degree from Canadian Memorial Chiropractic College four years later. While completing her Doctor of Chiropractic Degree, Dr. Santoli studied various soft tissue and chiropractic technique systems including Diversified , Thompson and Graston. In addition, she became certified in Contemporary Medical Acupuncture at McMaster University, which focuses on a neurofunctional approach to treating various conditions.