What is Acupuncture?
Classical acupuncture is based on the philosophy of Taoism. Two equal and opposite forces, Yin and Yang, coexist in the body. Yin and Yang must be balanced to achieve harmony. Illness is thought to be the result of an imbalance between the two forces. Insertion of needles into select points is done to increase or decrease energy in a given organ system resulting in a restoration of balance. Energy flows through the body via 12 paired meridians, 6 Yin and 6 Yang, which correspond to organs.

Anatomical acupuncture is the approach taken by western-trained healthcare workers. It combines knowledge of acupuncture with anatomy, physiology and pathophysiology, allowing healthcare workers to integrate acupuncture into clinical practice. At Motion Plus Physiotherapy we use the anatomical approach to acupuncture.

What are Acupuncture Points?
Almost all acupuncture points correspond to known neural structures. These points display a lower skin resistance than the surrounding skin and have a constant location from person to person.

What can acupuncture do?
Acupuncture can:

  • decrease pain by stimulating endorphin release and attaching to opiate receptors. As a result, pain relaying pathways to the brain are blocked.
  • Stimulate blood circulation to the area to encourage natural healing.
  • Restore neuronal stimulation for muscles.
  • Restore autonomic homeostasis
    • Sympathetic switch – promotes general relaxation
    • parasympathetic switch – enhances energy

What Conditions can be Treated with Acupuncture at Motion Plus Physiotherapy?

  • Pain
  • Arthritis
  • Joint sprains and strains
  • Decreased muscle activation
  • Decreased muscle tone or spasm
  • Dural tension or nerve impingement
  • Tension or cervicogenic headaches
  • TMJ dysfunction
  • Autonomic dysfunction (e.g. Chronic Regional Pain Syndrome)

Who Provides Acupuncture at Motion Plus Physiotherapy?
Denise Fogal-Smith, PT, Kendra Dundas, PT, and John Horlings, PT currently provide acupuncture using the anatomical approach. All received their training through Acupuncture Canada.

Dry Needling

What is Dry Needling?
Dry Needling (DN) is a technique employed by some Physiotherapists using an acupuncture needle. The treating Physiotherapist searches out areas of tightness or shortening within a muscle (such as a trigger point). These areas are often very sensitive to the touch as well. The needle is inserted into this area of tightness and the patient often experiences a twitch or a cramping sensation which is then followed by muscle relaxation. This technique can be used to treat both local and radiating pain, release tension in muscles and improve quality of movement.

Our Physiotherapists integrate both Acupuncture and Dry Needling into their clinical practice on a case by case basis. Each patient needs to be thoroughly assessed to determine if needling should be part of their overall management plan.

Who Provides Dry Needling at Motion Plus Physiotherapy?
Denise Fogal-Smith, PT, John Horlings, PT and Kendra Dundas, PT, currently offer Dry Needling. Denise and Kendra are certified in Gunn Intramuscular Stimulation (Gunn IMS) and John is certified in Integrated Dry Needling (CIDN).