At River Heights Physiotherapy in Winnipeg all of our physiotherapists are trained and licensed to perform acupuncture. They are trained in Anatomical Acupuncture, a western approach to acupuncture. They treat musculoskeletal conditions and choose acupuncture points based on the muscle, nerve, tendon, ligament, or blood vessel they want to stimulate. Our physiotherapists often use acupuncture as valuable part of your physiotherapy treatment.
Acupuncture involves inserting thin needles into specific places on the body called acupuncture points<. It can be used to reduce pain for headaches including migraines; to reduce muscle tension (spasm); to reduce inflammation/swelling; and to improve the body's own natural healing process. Acupuncture does this by releasing endorphins; our body's natural painkillers, reducing our body's natural anti-inflammatory chemicals, normalizing the nervous system, and increasing blood flow and energy to the affected area.
Acupuncture is very safe. Rare, but potential risks include, but are not limited to: slight pain or discomfort at the site of needle insertion; bruising; fainting; nausea; temporary aggravation of your presenting problem. We use sterile, single use, disposable stainless steel needles in a clean environment for your safety.
Acupuncture is not particularly uncomfortable. One can feel a small prick when the needle enters the skin, but keep in mind acupuncture needles are far thinner than regular needles. Once the needles are in, usually nothing is felt. Sometimes a mild achy or stinging sensation can be felt for a few minutes. Once the needles are in you get to relax for 15-30 minutes.
The response to acupuncture varies from an immediate reduction in symptoms to maximum improvement up to two days later, to no effect at all. Sometimes improvement is dramatic, sometimes mild, sometimes it takes more than one treatment. Typically a number of sessions are required to achieve maximum benefits. Occasionally we may attach electrodes to the needles to gently stimulate them.
At River Heights Physiotherapy we charge a standard, small tray fee for acupuncture in addition to your regular treatment fee. For 2014 the fee is $16.00. This fee can be billed to you insurance company, usually as part of your physiotherapy treatment.