Acupuncture: What Is the Real Deal?

Acupuncture is a traditional Chinese medicine technique that involves insertion of fine needles to specific points in the body to help relieve pain and cure various ailments.

As a part of physiotherapy treatment, a common acupuncture technique called ‘Dry Needling’ is used as well.

Many physiotherapists incorporate acupuncture and dry needling in their treatment approach to help their patients.


Traditional Chinese medicine believes that any ailments occurring in our body are a result of blockage of free flow of the blood in that area/region of our body. There are 4 main reasons that can cause this:

  • Physical stress

  • Emotional stress

  • Environmental factors

  • Injury

Traditional Chinese medicine widely believes that these factors have a major influence on our health.

The acupuncture points are believed to be specific points throughout our body that control various ‘channels’ of blood flow and energy (called ‘meridians’). As you receive acupuncture, these channels are being opened up to allow free flow of the blood, also known as “De Qi”. This is the reason why your physiotherapist may do acupuncture in your hand for your low back pain!

Dry Needling

Dry needling is considered a type of acupuncture technique where your physiotherapist tries to work on certain points in your muscles, also known as trigger points, to help relax them and reduce pain. The physiotherapist inserts thin needles into the trigger points of the muscles to relieve any spasm/cramps.

Side Effects

Many patients, if treated by a trained physiotherapist, do not feel any pain. You may feel soreness, heaviness, pins and needles, or a feeling of pressure building up at the point, but this response is considered normal.

A common side effect is puncture of an organ (most commonly lungs); however, the techniques used by a trained physiotherapist ensure complete safety.

Nausea, dizziness, lightheadedness, and fainting are other common side effects. You should immediately let your physiotherapist know if you start feeling these, and she will remove the needles. Also ensure that you have eaten before your treatment session.

Other possible side effects include tiredness, fatigue, a feeling of exertion, euphoria, and relaxation.

Conditions Treated

Some of the common conditions treated by a physiotherapist using acupuncture include:

  • Neck pain

  • Hip pain

  • De Quervain’s tenosynovitis

  • Back pain

  • Cervical headache

  • Myofascial pain syndrome

  • Ankle pain

  • Metatarsalgia

  • Tendonitis, bursitis, and other soft tissue conditions

  • And many more.

Book an appointment


your local Physiotherapist

 today to discuss acupuncture treatment options!