Don’t Fear the Needle

When people get acupuncture for the first time, they will often admit to being nervous about the needles.  Which isn’t surprising, they’re probably imagining a hypodermic or a sewing needle, when in actual fact, an acupuncture needle is about the thickness of a cat whisker.  It’s extremely flexible and when you look at one up close and maybe even flick it with your finger, its harmless nature is revealed.

Harmless but not powerless.  Those little needles, placed just so, all working together can accomplish amazing things.  They can ease pain, calm an anxious mind, increase circulation, decrease inflammation, stimulate a sluggish bowel or slow an overactive one, and on and on the list goes.  

sewingI’m hesitant to compare acupuncture and sewing for fear of fanning the flames of needle fear, but they have some beautiful similarities.  A row of tiny stitches can heal the hole in the toe of your favourite sock and make it stronger just as a few acupuncture needles correctly placed can mend your body’s pain.  In both, something tiny and precise can be used to strengthen a weak portion of the whole.



Similes are fun!  Here is another one: acupuncture is like DJ’ing.  Huh?  Well, both use needles to create cohesion.  A DJ will use the turntable needle to line up the next song and create a seamless transition (hopefully), melding the two together.  Similarly, an acupuncturist uses their needles to establish consistency; regular acupuncture treatments over time can nudge the body into a new, more balanced pattern, one that is free of pain.  Like two perfectly synced songs, pain dissolves into pain-free, almost without the patient even noticing.


And why would they notice?  Acupuncture needles are silicone coated for patient comfort and are extremely delicate.  Did you know that you can fit forty of these little guys inside the opening of a hypodermic needle?  Forty!  So that gives you some perspective on whether or not to be nervous about acupuncture.

needlesOur advice: don’t fear the needle.  And if you still do, even after reading this post, just sing that phrase to yourself a few times.  Here is some back-up musical inspiration to help out:

craniosacral therapy

As each Fibromyalgia patient presents with a unique set of symptoms, there are many ways to go about treating it.  The degree of pain, where that pain sits in our bodies and what other conditions we might have that over lap with FM, it’s a long list of differences and similarities that FM sufferers share.  It’s important, therefore, to know what your options are when it comes to finding relief.
The idea of Integrative Medicine has come about as a way for health professionals to expand the effectiveness of their care.  At West End Chiropractic Clinic we find that sharing the patient care load great increases the results that patients get from visiting us.  Having acupuncture, craniosacral therapy, chiropractic and massage all under one roof allows us to offer a much more complete model of healing for our patients.
Chiropractic comes from the Greek words that mean “done by hand.”  Chiropractic works effectively on the nervous, muscular and skeletal systems to create and maintain balance in the body.  This in turn can often provide a great amount of relief from the symptoms of Fibromyalgia. To know if chiropractic therapy will work for you it is a good idea to get regular treatments for at least a 6-8 weeks before determining if it provides relief of your FM symptoms.
Chiropractors primary form of therapy is the spinal adjustment. The chiropractor will often use his fingers or hand to move the vertebrae slightly beyond the normal range of movement, creating enough space in the joint for the bone to re-align itself.  Although this is often what we think of as a chiropractic adjustment, chiropractors also use a variety of muscle and soft tissue release methods to allow for a longer lasting adjustment.

Craniosacral Therapy was developed by osteopathic physician, William Sutherland, and greatly furthered by John E. Upledger, following extensive scientific studies at Michigan State University, where he served as a clinical researcher and Professor of Bio mechanics.

Craniosacral Therapy is an extremely gentle but effective method for promoting the free movement of the craniosacral system. CST has many benefits, and people are finding that it strongly enhances the body’s own defenses against disease. Craniosacral therapy may be recommended for many disorders, including: migraine headaches, chronic neck and back pain, motor-coordination impairments, central nervous system disorders, orthopedic problems, traumatic brain and spinal cord injuries, scoliosis, infantile disorders, learning disabilities, chronic fatigue, emotional difficulties, stress and tension-related problems, neurovascular or immune disorders, Fibromyalgia and other connective-tissue disorders, autism, colic, temporomandibular joint syndrome (TMJ), post-traumatic stress disorder, and post-surgical dysfunction.
As with any form of treatment, you must decide whether something is right for you.  However, you owe it to yourself to try various treatments in your quest for health and healing.  Chiropractic and craniosacral therapy may just hold the answers you seek.