Material taken from the Acupuncture Foundation
of Canada Institute (AFCI) www.afcinstitute.com
Acupuncture involves the insertion of very fine needles through
the skin and tissues at various points of the body. It is used to
encourage natural healing, reduce or relieve pain and improve function
of affected areas of the body.
How does it work?
Acupuncture stimulates the body to produce and release its
own pain relieving hormones called endorphins. Pain relieving drugs
also stimulate the release of endorphins, but only for a temporary
period of time. Acupuncture stimulates a release of endorphins that
is cumulative and long lasting. The result is a relief in pain, general
relaxation and a biochemical restoration of the body’s own internal
regulation systems. This stimulates the body’s natural healing
abilities, reduces inflammation and promotes physical and emotional
What kinds of conditions can acupuncture treat?
The World Health Organization has identified the benefits
of acupuncture in the treatment of a wide range of ailments including:
- neck and back pain
- frozen shoulder
- tennis elbow,
What kind of needles are used?
The needles used at Wendy Boland PT are sterile, disposable needles
that are never used twice. The needles are stainless steel, and there
is no injection of any substance. The length of the needle is determined
by the area of the body the needle is being inserted into. Acupuncture
needles are extremely fine. Two or three needles could fit inside
the barrel of a regular hollow needle used for injections.
Are there any risks to having acupuncture done?
There are very few risks and complications as a result of having acupuncture
done. By using sterile needles the risk of infection is prevented,
as is the transmission of blood born illnesses. Acupuncture may cause
some local discomfort or bruising at the needle site, but this is
infrequent. Women in early pregnancy and hemophiliacs should be treated
Does it hurt?
People experience different sensations with the needles. Most patients
only feel a minimal discomfort as the needles are inserted (something
like a mosquito bite) and some feel no pain at all. Once the needles
are in place, there should be no significant discomfort.
Myofascial release is a technique where the therapist uses their hands
to apply pressure to tissues that have become shortened or tight.
The pressure can be applied when the tissues are either moving or
still. The technique helps to break apart scar tissue, relax tightened
tissue and improve blood and nerve flow to the affected area.
Exercise programs will be tailored to the individual’s needs
as well as to the results of a detailed assessment to determine muscle
imbalances and postural deficits.
Sports Injury Rehabilitation
Each sport will have specific dynamics that must be addressed for
a complete return to the sport.
Posture and Ergonomic
It is unlikely that an injury will heal 100% unless the “non-ideal”
postures and positions we put ourselves into at work and at leisure
Education and Guidance
on Safe Return to
The body needs time to adjust when returning to activity after a break
from that activity. This adjustment process will vary depending on
each individual’s recovery potential from both injury and physical
work. Guidance will be given as to how to make a successful return
to pre-injury activity.
Specific movements applied by the therapist on the joints of the spine
and limbs to help ease pain and promote proper movement.
Education on Injury
Prevention of injury is ideal. Once an injury has occurred, education
on how to prevent further injury to the damaged tissue is essential
both while the tissue is healing and once the healing is complete.
An injury will affect the ability of certain body parts to
determine where they are in space (this is called proprioception).
This may result in certain areas not moving or tracking the way they
are supposed to. Simple taping techniques can help the injured area
by increasing its proprioceptive input which will guide it towards
Trigger Point Dry Needling (TDN)
TDN uses the same needles as in acupuncture treatment (see above) to loosen trigger points (tight, painful bands) within muscles. It is a very successful treatment technique when indicated for certain conditions of the neuro-musculoskeletal system: headaches, migraines, chronic pain, chronic tightness, recurring injuries, repetitive strain injuries, recent injuries, etc.
Does TDN hurt?
TDN is more intense than regular acupuncture but the intensity is short lived (3-5 second duration). There is often some muscle soreness for 24-48 hours after the technique, much the same as the muscle soreness from increased activity. Once this soreness subsides, a welcome relief of pain and decrease in muscle tension ensues.
Scalp acupuncture uses the same acupuncture needles in regular or body acupuncture. These fine needles are inserted in the soft tissue layer of the scalp over the area of the brain that controls the body part to be treated. Many neuro-musculoskeletal conditions can be successfully treated with the use of scalp acupuncture.
Cranio Sacral Therapy
Material taken from the Upledger Institute International www.upledger.com
CranioSacral Therapy (CST) is a gentle, hands-on approach that releases tensions deep in the body to relieve pain and dysfunction and improve whole-body health and performance. Using a soft touch practitioners release restrictions in the soft tissues that surround the central nervous system. CST is increasingly used for a wide range of medical problems associated with pain and dysfunction.