About Clinical Acupuncture
Acupuncture involves the use of small, disposable, single-use, sterile needles to pierce the skin’s surface to a specific depth. The location and depth of the needle insertion depend on the injury and the desired treatment effects.
What benefits are there with clinical acupuncture treatment?
Acupuncture can provide a number of benefits, including:
Acupuncture needles can be placed where the injury occurred in the muscle or tissue, and also the surrounding areas. Their insertion provides a minor trauma to the skin, which stimulates the production of pain-relieving chemicals both locally at the trauma site, and at the brain and spinal cord level. Chemicals such as endorphins and opioids are released and pain feedback channels from the pain source to the brain are blocked so that the level of pain perceived by the brain is reduced.
The microtrauma of needle insertion also stimulates a natural anti-inflammatory response by releasing chemicals that cause vasodilation (blood vessel dilation) and vascular permeability (this allows greater flow of chemicals through the vessels). These physiological responses allow the removal of inflammatory mediators from the injury site and the enhancement of healing mediators to the area.
Trigger point release
In addition to promoting anti-inflammatory and pain-relieving mechanisms, acupuncture can also be used to resolve regions of tightened muscle called trigger points.
Trigger points (also known as muscle knots) occur when there is an over-contraction of a small number of muscle fibres in one region. Needling directly into the trigger points simply causes mechanical disruption of the contracted muscle fibres to encourage relaxation. It also stimulates the blood flow and the delivery of oxygen and nutrients through vasodilation, and reduces the elevated electrical activity in the muscle, allowing them to relax.