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Neurofunctional Acupuncture

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What is Acupuncture?

Neurofunctional Acupuncture stems from the more widely known, commonly understood concept of Acupuncture. Acupuncture originated as a treatment tool in Traditional Chinese Medicine and dates back to as far as 100 BCE. It’s the insertion of very thin needles through the skin and has been used for ages to relieve a variety of ailments. In the physiotherapy and rehab world, we use it to address neuromuscular pain and dysfunction. For this purpose, acupuncture has been modified, and these modifications have been given names, like dry needling, IMS, etc.


At All About Kids, we use Neurofunctional Acupuncture, also known as McMaster Medical Contemporary Acupuncture, to achieve even better results for our patients.


Neurofunctional Acupuncture - What's the difference?

Neurofunctional Acupuncture (via the neurofunctional approach) as taught by Dr. Alejandro Elorriga Claraco in the McMaster Contemporary Medical Acupuncture program, uses TCM acupuncture points that specifically coincide with nerve pathways. Acupuncture needles are inserted to affect the nerves, and the tissues they innervate, at varying depths. To treat neuromuscular dysfunction specifically, it is the most comfortable and comprehensive approach.


What is Electroacupuncture?

Electroacupuncture is the electrical stimulation applied to acupuncture needles to trigger a motor contraction. It can be done 1 needle at a time with a “pointer” tool to target one specific area, or through multiple needles at once with clip-on wires and a stim box. The ability to stimulate a motor twitch response with electricity is useful to trigger connective tissue remodeling and improve tissue plasticity.

How does it work?

To understand how acupuncture works, it helps to see all physiotherapy interventions as different ways to affect the nervous system. We call this modulating the nervous system. Some interventions are just more specific, effective, and longer-lasting than others.

Neurofunctional Acupuncture can be used for a variety of conditions to improve pain, neuromotor control, blood flow & local metabolism, including:

  • Cerebral palsy
    • To address the tight, overused, and inhibited muscles from inefficient movement, to enable proper motor patterns
  • Postural pain or dysfunctions
    • Neck pain, back pain, shoulder or wrist pain, rounded shoulders, tight chest
  • Athletic injuries
    • Knee pain, ankle sprains, groin pulls, tennis elbow, wrist sprains
  • Post-surgical or fracture
    • Muscles are inhibited and atrophied after disuse
  • Tension headaches
    • Through treating the muscles under the head and neck
  • Whiplash after trauma
    • Motor vehicle accident, fall, or collision in a sport

Clinical Results

  • Improved ability to accurately contract the intended muscle
  • Improved active & passive range of motion (the muscle can take you further & can relax further)
  • Increased strength (the muscle can better resist gravity or your resistance)
  • Improved endurance (the muscle can contract for longer)
  • The patient reports a better awareness of the muscle contracting
  • The patient reports the exercise is now easier to do

This is an amazing adjunct to physiotherapy exercises to then take advantage of the new activation, new strength, new endurance, new range, and new sensation!

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