Frequently Asked Questions

FAQ: Acupuncture

Q: What is Acupuncture?

Acupuncture describes the use of filiform (thread-like and non-hollow) needles inserted into specific acupuncture points located throughout the body, each of which is known to aid the body’s natural healing abilities. Stimulating different acupuncture points can achieve different results, allowing for the treatment of specific ailments, injuries, or conditions. 

Q: Where did acupuncture start?


Acupuncture is rooted in Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), the origin of cupping techniques now used by physiotherapists and massage therapists all over the world. The first TCM book dates back more than 2,200 years ago. 

Q: How does it work?

A: Acupuncture points are pressure, heat, and light-sensitive. Stimulation of an acupuncture point produces neuronal signals to the brain to kick-start the healing of a body part or to regulate a bodily system function. For example, modern scientific research has shown through MRI that the stimulation of an acupuncture point in the lower leg known to aid the healing of eye problems leads to the corresponding visual cortex in the brain to become active. Local area endorphin levels and blood flow also increase when an acupuncture point is stimulated.

Q: How many treatments will I need?

A: The treatment course varies from injury to injury and from person to person. Factors such as the history and severity of the injury, the overall health of the person (and, therefore, their body’s ability to heal), and the willingness to take action and follow through with the prescribed treatment plan all compound to determine how quickly healing happens and how many treatments are needed.



Osteopathic Articular Technique:

Manual osteopaths use this technique to reduce muscle spasms near a joint, ease neurological irritations around a joint, make joints more mobile, and reduce pain and discomfort. The articular technique involves gently moving two joint surfaces. Before doing this, manual osteopaths carefully prepare the soft tissues around the treatment area. They also move the client into a position that will minimize or eliminate the energy and force needed to perform the maneuver. Many clients find this technique less forceful than joint manipulations.


Soft Tissue Manipulation:

The practitioner uses soft tissue manipulation in many different ways. In general, they use it to evaluate the condition of tissues and to help the body’s fluids (such as blood and lymphatic fluid) flow smoothly. Keeping fluids flowing reduces harmful fluid retention and improves the capabilities of the body’s immune system. Soft tissue manipulation works with the fascia, which is soft tissue that connects all of the body’s structures at superficial and deep levels. Practitioners evaluate the fascia to find areas of restriction and then use soft tissue manipulation to ensure the length and tension of the fascia are properly balanced. Throughout the treatment, manual osteopaths keep checking on the state of the body’s tissues. If one technique isn’t working to correct a restriction, they’ll use another approach instead. Above all, manual osteopaths try to restore health without overtreating.


Cranial Osteopathy:

This is a very gentle osteopathic technique, and it requires the most experience to use effectively. Manual osteopaths use this gentle technique to assess and treat the mobility of the skull and its contents. They may also use it to assess and treat the spine, the sacrum, and other parts of the body. The goal of this technique is to adjust the body’s physiology by restoring balance to the circulation of the blood and other fluids. To learn this technique, manual osteopaths undergo intensive training to develop a precise cranial technique. Through this training, their hands become sensitive to cranial mobility so they can provide diagnoses and treatments. Manual osteopaths aim at treating the body’s inherent biorhythm. They are able to feel this rhythm in the client’s head, spinal cord, sacrum, and throughout the rest of the body, and can use the biorhythm to assess the patient’s condition and potentially modify it during treatment.

Visceral Manipulation:

Manual osteopaths use visceral manipulation to treat the organs of the body, including the lungs, heart, liver, spleen, kidneys, stomach, pancreas, intestines, bladder, and uterus. Clients may have been experiencing pain in one or more of these organs, or the viscera may be less pliable than it should be. Manual osteopaths gently move the structures themselves and the fascia (connective tissue) that surrounds them to restore full movement. Most clients treated with visceral manipulation feel only the gentle pressure of the manual osteopath’s hand, but the corrections are powerful enough to improve the mobility of an organ, increase blood flow, and help the organ function more effectively.

Q: How does acupuncture differ from dry needling?

Acupuncture boosts the body’s natural healing abilities and can treat both external injuries as well as internal conditions. Dry needling specifically targets muscle knots to achieve tension release.

Q: Can I receive acupuncture while undergoing massage therapy?

No. Absolutely! Undergoing both therapies concurrently allows the treatment process to cover a wider spectrum, providing an optimal environment for the body to heal from any injuries and/or dysfunctions. Be sure to ask your therapist at Urban Massage & Wellness about massage therapy or acupuncture treatments. We are a holistic team dedicated to your wellness, which means we can recommend one of the other experts on our team to complete your treatment plan. 

Q: Are there risks to acupuncture?

Although some people are nervous about trying acupuncture for the first time, it is very safe and effective with an experienced and trained acupuncturist. The risk of infection is extremely low and single-use, sterile needles are always used at Urban Massage & Wellness. Your acupuncturist will follow specific procedures for cleaning the site of insertion and disposing of needles after use. 

Q: Is there anyone who should not receive acupuncture?

Just about anyone can be a candidate for acupuncture. In certain circumstances, such as if you have a blood disorder, a pacemaker, or you are pregnant, you should speak to your doctor before booking an acupuncture appointment. 

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