North Toronto Wellness and Rehab Centre (NTO Rehab) offers both Traditional Chinese Medicine Acupuncture and Medical Contemporary Acupuncture so that you can choose which technique you prefer based on the recommendation of the Acupuncturist.  The following outlines the difference between the two types of Acupuncture:

AcupunctureTCM Acupuncture by Helen Ye

The Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) focuses on the overall circulation or flow (a.k.a : Qi) of the entire body. It strengthens one’s positive energy and inherent inner healing. It emphasizes on the connections and interactions of our physical bodies with spirituality, psychology, as well as social cultural and familial environment. It promotes holistic healing and health and conventional medicine emphasizes on fighting diseases.

Contemporary Medical Acupuncture by Christine Mo

In contemporary medical acupuncture, the body is viewed as the combination of its anatomical structures and physiological systems (muscles, bones, blood vessels, nerves, etc.)  By inserting single use, sterile, disposable needles into tissues below the skin at desired locations of the body (acupuncture points), certain physiological responses can be triggered.

Such responses may include, but not limited to, release of local tissue tension, regulation of local blood supply to targeted muscles and joints, and promotion of the self- healing mechanism of the body.

Contemporary Medical Acupuncture is very effective in treating a variety of painful disorders such as low back pain, tension headache muscle tightness, shin splints, lateral epicondylitis (tennis elbow) and shoulder tendonitis.

For clients/patients who have previous experience with acupuncture, low intensity, low frequency electrical stimulation may be used in order to achieve better results.

Q: What is Contemporary Medical Acupuncture (CMA)?

A: In contemporary medical acupuncture, the body is viewed as the combination of its anatomical structures and physiological systems (so your muscles, bones,
blood vessels, nerves, etc.)  It helps to release local tissue tension, to regulate blood supply and to improve the function of the nervous system.

contemporary medical acupuncture (2)Q: What’s the difference between CMA and traditional acupuncture?

A: 1. Theory

Traditional acupuncture is part of traditional Chinese/Eastern Medicine. TCM practitioners believe that the body is composed of invisible channels that transport a flow of energy (Qi) throughout the body. The imbalance of Qi causes illness, and therefore traditional acupuncture is used to help your body heal by adjusting the flow of the Qi.

2. Practice

TCM acupuncture and CMA is very similar looking, except proper CMA focuses on pain-less insertion and is often performed with a specifically designed electrical stimulation machine.

Q: Are the needles dangerous?

A: No. Acupuncture needles are made of solid stainless steel that has a small yet rounded point. It does not have a cutting edge like an injection needle, and therefore, will not damage the targeted tissue.  Also, properly trained CMA practitioners are experts in human anatomy. They know where the organs, blood vessels, and other vital structures are, and they
are well trained to avoid these structures to stay completely safe.

Q: Does acupuncture hurt?

A: Insertion of acupuncture needles to some points will not even be felt, yet some others may cause discomfort. However, CMA practitioners do aim for pain-less needle insertion techniques and will adjust the needles as soon as discomfort is felt until it’s lowered to a minimum level.