Acupuncture // Clearly, acupuncture can’t be explained in a few paragraphs, but here’s a simple way to start understanding how it can vary:
In Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), your entire being (physical and emotional; your constitution) is taken into consideration and an acupuncture protocol is created based on your particular goals and needs. Points are picked according to their action and can be stimulated in a number of ways – ex. acupuncture (dry needling), electroacupuncture, acupressure, moxabustion and ear seeds.
Now, anatomical/contemporary acupuncture focuses a little bit more on the anatomy and physiology of the body, and a little less on the TCM approach. If someone comes in with a rotator cuff injury, those utilizing the contemporary approach would start by strategically placing needles into the shoulder - in order to support greater circulation into the area, provide pain relief, stimulate the nerve(s), etc. The contemporary approach typically has a greater focus on muscles, tendons, ligaments and nerves.
In theory & in clinical practice, it can be seamless when combining both approaches. We can focus on specific, localized areas, but then incorporate points to address your entire constitution.
Acupuncture is utilized by a number of healthcare providers, and the approach of the acupuncture can vary. For example, a licensed Acupuncturist might focus in fertility acupuncture, whereas a Physiotherapist might utilize acupuncture in a sports medicine setting. And most Naturopathic Doctors can perform acupuncture and may also focus in a particular area.
When considering acupuncture, think about what you hope to achieve and seek out someone who utilizes acupuncture to meet that goal.