Discover Higgins Chiropractic
Young woman getting acupuncture treatment in therapy room

The theory and practice of acupuncture is based on Traditional Chinese Medicine, a comprehensive natural health care system that has been used in Asia for thousands of years. Acupuncturists stimulate “acupuncture points” found at specific locations on the surface of the body by inserting very thin needles through the skin, or with heat and/or finger-pressure.

The general theory of acupuncture is that health depends on the circulation of nutrients and energy called Qi (pronounced “chee”) through a network of channels or “meridians.” This network connects every organ and part of the body and regulates its physiological processes. Pain and ill-health result when the flow of Qi through the body is disrupted or blocked by factors including disease, pathogens, trauma/injuries and medication (side-effects), as well as lifestyle factors such as overwork, poor diet, emotional disturbance, lack of rest and stress. The stimulation of acupuncture points helps restore a sufficient flow of Qi throughout the body.

The acupuncturist uses a sophisticated system of diagnostic methods that take into consideration the person as a whole, rather than isolated symptoms.


“The aim is not only to eliminate or alleviate symptoms…but to treat the underlying cause and improve the quality of life”

Modern acupuncture needles are stainless steel, between one-half and three inches long, ultra-fine and quite flexible. They are pre-sterilized and disposable (single use). When the acupuncture needles are tapped into the skin, there may not be any sensation, or patients may feel a dull or slight tingle. Most patients find acupuncture treatments to be relaxing and meditative experiences.

Patients of acupuncturists range from infants to senior citizens. They may be seeking an alternative to Western medicine or it may be their last hope for relief, having exhausted other methods of treatment for a chronic condition.

What Is Acupuncture ? A Brief Introduction

Originating in China more than 3,000 years ago, acupuncture is one of the oldest Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) procedures. As an essential part of TCM, acupuncture involves the insertion of very thin, metallic needles, (sometimes in conjunction with electrical stimulus), on some specific points (acupuncture points or acupoints) of the body’s surface. The extreme thinness of the needles ensures that little or no discomfort will be experienced during the treatment. At medical level, the insertion of these very fine needles on the acupoints influences the physiological functions of the body, cures the diseases and restores the health.

Acupuncture is being widely accepted as a supplementary healthcare service to the mainstream health care system across Canada. It has already been regulated in British Columbia, Alberta and Quebec. In Ontario, Traditional Chinese Medicine Act, 2006, has been passed by the provincial legislative assembly in 2006. The transitional council of the College of Traditional Chinese Medicine Practitioners and Acupuncturists of Ontario (CTCMPAO) has been formed to establish the regulation by-laws.

How Is The Treatment Carried Out?

In acupuncture, 10~20 very fine needles are inserted into the acupuncture points of body (called “Shue Wei” in Chinese). The needles are left in places for 15~20 minutes, manipulated by hands or electrical stimulations during the course of treatment, producing a beneficial effect on other related parts of the body. The number of needles required and the length of time needles left in body depend on the problem and the consultation with the acupuncturist.

As an essential part of Traditional Chinese Medicine, acupuncture has been successfully used to treat various kinds of diseases in China for over thousands of years.

In North America, acupuncture is mainly being used to relive pain, quit addictions (smoking, alcohol), and relieve anxieties, along with enormous successful treatments of other symptoms.

Relieve Pain:

Pain is the most common problem that is treated by Chinese acupuncture with extreme success. Acupuncture works extremely well for many kinds of pain complaints – some may respond better than others. A large number of people do feel instant relief from the pain after the very first treatment. In general, more than 90% of patients respond well after the treatment.

Quit Smoking:

Acupuncture is very successful in helping patients to quit smoking. Acupuncture intercepts messages sent by the brain to the body that demand more nicotine, thereby disrupting the addictive process. It stops the craving for cigarettes, change the taste, get rid of the nicotine acid from the lungs, and make smoking uncomfortable.

Relieve Anxiety:

Acupuncture works very well to help restore a calm state of mind. When acupuncture needles are inserted into specific points, it has an immediate, regulatory effect on the nerve system. It stimulates the parasympathetic nerve system to slow down the heart beating rate and relax the mind.


“Acupuncture is the only known technique to directly increase vascular response. […] Acupuncture treatments suppressed the sympathetic nervous system response at the spinal-cord level, reducing the local “fight or flight” response in the pelvis. When the sympathetic response was reduced, blood flow improved to the uterus and ovaries. When acupuncture is performed, the constriction of the uterine arteries is lessened by 21% after eight treatments, dramatically increasing blood flow.”

-Lewis, Randine Ph.D. The Infertility Cure. 2004.


Acupuncture is also used to aid in various inflammatory conditions such as tennis elbow, rotator cuff tendonitis, and knee pain.