Browsing Tag

acupuncture

Health + Wellness

What is Acupuncture? The FAQs

You’ve probably heard of acupuncture and may have even thought about receiving a treatment – but if you’ve had acupuncture before, you know it’s more than just getting poked with needles.

Acupuncture is part of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) that strives to stimulate the balance of energy (or Qi, “chee”) within the body. When the body is healthy, Qi flows smoothly through the channels (or meridians) of the body. When the flow of Qi is unbalanced or obstructed the body may be susceptible to disease or illness.

I recently visited my friend and Instagram star Zehra Allibhai, of The Fitnest, who agreed to have her very first acupuncture treatment filmed to share with all of you! (she’s amazing –> follow her here).

IMG_4061

Zehra had a few areas of concern she wanted me to look at and treat – check out the video below.

Here are a few frequently asked questions I often get asked about acupuncture.

Q. Does acupuncture hurt?

Probably the most common question asked about acupuncture, ever. Many people associate needles to pain. Totally understandable! However, acupuncture needles are similar in thickness to a cat’s whisker, and are virtually painless when inserted. The occasional patient may report a pinch upon insertion, but the discomfort dissipates relatively quickly. Many patients report feeling a very unique sensation varying from tingling to heaviness to warmth and sometimes nothing at all.

Each patient’s experience is different. However, if you do experience discomfort, let your acupuncturist know and they will adjust the needles accordingly. Communication with your acupuncturist is important so that you can relax during treatment. I’m a bit sensitive to needles myself and so I have developed a gentle needling technique over the years


IMG_4062

Q. What can Acupuncture treat?

Because the goal of acupuncture is to promote and restore the balance of energy, the benefits of acupuncture can extend to a wide range of conditions from musculoskeletal conditions (TMJ, neck and back pain, knee, ankle, elbow, etc) to emotional disorders (anxiety, stress, depression) to digestive complaints (nausea, IBS, reflux). It can also be used to treat degenerative conditions such as chronic pain or arthritis and inflammatory conditions such as sinusitis. Labour preparation, induction and fertility acupuncture is also effective and more information can be found on the Toronto Yoga Mamas website.

According to the National Cancer Institute, several studies show that acupuncture can help boost immunity and speed up recovery following cancer treatments.

IMG_4060

Q. Will Acupuncture help get rid of my problem?

Acupuncturist treat the root of the problem and not just the symptoms. Relieving pain and supporting the body’s ability to heal itself are the goals of treatment. Pain is reduced because the needles promote the release of endorphins, as well as increase the movement of blood, relaxing tissues and optimizing the nervous system.

IMG_4055

Q. What should I expect when I see an Acupuncturist for the first time?

Typically the first acupuncture visit involves a comprehensive health history assessment. The questions may seem unrelated to the chief concern or complaint, but they are relevant to the entire body’s interactions which are the key to diagnosis and treatment. Sometimes, the practitioner may ask to examine your tongue or feel your pulse to help determine energy flow and body’s state of balance.

After the consultation and assessment, a treatment protocol is devised. As an Acupuncturist AND a Chiropractor, I often include manual techniques into my treatment plan to help thoroughly treat the condition. The treatment plan varies patient to patient.

 

Q. What will I feel like after treatment?

After treatment you should feel calm, relaxed and maybe a bit sleepy. Some people feel more energetic. The responses vary depending on the type of treatment and your current state of health. The effects are cumulative and each treatment builds on the last. a typical treatment plan may look like this: 1-2 timer a week for 6-8 treatments followed by monthly maintenance treatments for a period of time, however this varies from patient to patient.

IMG_2675

Q. How do I find a qualified Registered Acupuncturist (R.Ac)?

Finding a qualified Registered Acupuncturist in your area is easy. Check the College of Traditional Chinese Medicine Practitioners and Acupuncturists of Ontario to find someone in your area.

An acupuncturist practices significantly different than an “acupuncture provider”.

Acupuncture providers are usually manual therapy practitioners such as physiotherapists, massage therapists and chiropractors who use acupuncture as an adjunct to their treatment of musculoskeletal (MSK) conditions.

Acupuncturists use the fundamentals Traditional Chinese Medicine to help address the whole body and treat a host of conditions including MSK.

If you have any questions, feel free to contact me at hello@draliya.ca

 

Enjoy the video:

 

Health + Wellness

Mother’s Wrist: A common “new mama” pain!

You’re a new mom to a gorgeous little babe!  Yay!

But you’ve started to notice your body is slowly deteriorating….oh no….  You thought the hard part was over (eg. giving birth)?  And despite all of your “war wounds” – tearing, abdominal separation, weakened pelvic floor muscles, cracked/sore nipples….you’ve now noticed an intense pain in your wrists, hands and thumbs!  Things get super sore when you pick up your beautiful beaming babe…ouchy!  Feels like your body is broken!  Sound familiar?

If so, don’t panic yet!

The wrist/hand/thumb pain you are describing sounds like a condition called De Quervain’s Tenosynovitis or as its commonly called, “mother’s wrist” or “mommy thumb”. De Quervain’s results from irritation and inflammation of the tendons that run from the base of the thumb to the wrist and forearm. As the tendons become more inflamed they rub against the “tunnel” that encloses them causing pain along the thumb side of the wrist.

Although anyone can develop De Quervain’s, it is most common in new moms (and a few new dads too). The repetition of lifting a baby numerous times during the day adds undue stress to a fatigued wrist.

In 2009, a study from the University of Colorado found that women were four times more likely to develop De Quervain’s than men.  In addition, some women experience symptoms during pregnancy as a result of fluid retention and hormonal changes causing the tissues around the tendons to swell and become inflamed.

Research has suggested that between 25-50% of new moms develop de Quervain’s during their baby’s first few months. Early recognition and treatment is key. If you are experiencing wrist or thumb pain, see your chiropractor as soon as possible for diagnosis and treatment options.

Unfortunately, mommy thumb seldom resolves on its own, however there are a few things you can do to get a grip on the pain.

01 / Use a different lifting technique – “the scoop”. One of the most important things you can do to prevent further injury is to modify your lifting technique. Instead of picking up your baby under his arms using primarily the thumb and index finger (in an “L” shape), try “the scoop” technique. Keep the palm of your hand up and try scooping him up by lifting under his bottom with one hand (keeping your thumb and index finger glued together) and supporting the back of his head with the other hand.

02/ Check breastfeeding position. Many women report that breastfeeding can irritate an already painful wrist, particularly during breast compressions (to help milk flow). Supporting or cradling baby’s head puts a strain on the wrist. Use a pillow to support the weight of the baby’s head so it isn’t resting in your hand.

03/ Rest & Ice. Ok so maybe resting your wrist is out of the question if you have a new baby. However, when your partner or a friend/relative is at home with you, hand over the baby and rest your wrist. This will allow some healing to occur. Icing frequently to decrease inflammation is also helpful.

04/ Try using a splint. A splint or brace that prevents the thumb and wrist from moving will help decrease swelling and discomfort. Wearing the brace consistently is important and many moms see an improvement in just a couple of weeks.

05/ Rehabilitative Exercises/Stretches.  Stretching your wrist muscles and gently massaging the area may help.  In addition, your chiropractor can help provide some key strengthening exercises that can help increase the strength in your muscles.  See my video below for some quick easy stretches and exercises that can help!

06/ Avoid texting.  Put your smartphone down and slowly back away.  Texting is a sure fire way to re-aggravate an already sore wrist and thumb.

07/ Consult with a health practitioner. A chiropractor can definitely help guide your treatment and recovery. Acupuncture has been shown to help!  Often this condition takes some time to get better, so be patient with yourself and your body.

A few easy stretches and exercises that will help!

Hang in there mama!  As your baby becomes a bit more mobile, your wrist pain will likely decrease.  This may bring a whole host of other issues – but that’s for another day!

xo

Dr Aliya