Services Provided at OSMC
Acupuncture involves the insertion of very fine needles through the skin and tissues at specific points on the body. There is no injection of any substance and the treatment itself causes minimal discomfort. Acupuncture stimulates the nervous system to release chemicals such as endorphins in the muscles, spinal cord, and brain. These endorphins will either change the experience of pain, or they will block the pathways that relay the pain message from the body to the brain, resulting in relief of pain, general relaxation and stimulation of the body’s own natural healing abilities. This helps to reduce inflammation and promotes physical and emotional well being. Acupuncture is one of the many skills employed and can be used in conjunction with other therapies to help promote healing. Physiotherapists base their treatments on scientific research and clinical evidence that acupuncture can reduce pain as a precursor to other treatments such as manual therapy or exercise in order to aid recovery.
One of the most striking aspects of acupuncture is the almost complete absence of side effects. Most people find the treatments relaxing, with minimal discomfort. Only sterile, one-use, disposable needles are used, thus preventing any risk of infection. The World Health Organization recognizes the use of acupuncture in the treatment of a wide range of health problems.
Acupuncture forms part of tradition Chinese medicine. This ancient system of medicine dates back to as far as 1000 years BC and is based on a holistic concept of treatment, which regards ill health as a manifestation of imbalance in the body’s energy. Energy is referred to as Qi (pronounced chee) and is described in terms of Yin energy (quiet and calm) and Yang energy (vigorous and exciting). Qi flows though pathways called meridians in the body. Each meridian corresponds to one organ, or group of organs that governs particular bodily function. Needles are inserted at points along the meridians where the energy pathway is closed to the surface of the skin.
Eastern or Chinese acupuncture uses points and meridians in the body believed to channel Qi or vital energy through systems and organs. Western medical acupuncture reinterprets these acupuncture points using current knowledge of anatomy, physiology and pathology. Knowing where to insert the needles is a matter of knowing where the energy flows through the body for Eastern acupuncturists. Western practitioners however, use two principles namely the gate theory of pain and the existence of natural opiates in the body.