Insights from autopsy: how to optimize your acupuncture treatments

Last month I went  to Tempe, Arizona, where specialists using acupuncture to treat injuries and pathologies of the musculo-skeletal system came together for a dissection program initiated and led by Alejandro Elorriaga Claraco of the McMaster University Contemporary Medical Acupuncture Program. All of us, medical doctors, chiropractors, physiotherapists, acupuncturists, massage therapists alike, had similar interests and similar goals. First of all, we were all very experienced practitioners with extensive medical training…

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Insights into neuroplasticity & carpel tunnel syndrome – implications for chronic pain

This blog is an update on the topic “Carpal Tunnel Syndrome” (CTS) a few years ago. Earlier I was writing about the inherent complexity of this condition.  Here I discussed that despite CTS being well defined problem with very distinctive symptoms, a significant number of the patients who experience those primary CTS symptoms may also have multiple impingements of the median nerve at other locations along the way.  The other…

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Congratulations Alina! our neurofunctional acupuncturist

Alina Tousseva, Acupuncturist

We are proud to announce that acupuncturist Alina Tousseeva has achieved one of the highest levels of training in science-based medical acupuncture! She is now certified as a Neurofunctional Sports Performance Practitioner.  She achieved this designation by completing a series of advanced courses offered by Dr. Alejandro Elorriaga Claraco of the MacMaster University Contemporary Medical Acupuncture Program in Hamilton, Ontario.   Dr. Elorriaga Claraco works with Olympic-level athletes and has a…

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Focused on function not pain

Medical labels are often misleading.  Lateral epicondylitis (tennis elbow), carpel tunnel syndrome, patella-tracking syndrome, sacral iliac dysfunction – these specific conditions focus on the painful joint or muscle, and can miss the big picture…. and the solution!       We often meet people with chronic injuries who come to our clinic and who have not been fully improving with exercises. They are frustrated, and are ready to give up….

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Short Cuts to Health

Being healthy is relatively easy; that is what your body does by default. It is capable of fulfilling this without extraordinary help when things are OK. However, when you get sick or out of balance, especially if you are not well for a long time, coming back to health can be very difficult. Treating diseases and these chronic imbalances are the domain of the medical doctor. The first and most…

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An Apple among Oranges in hypertension research

Here is a typical and nice positive study regarding acupuncture. It came from a team in Germany and was published in the highly regarded American journal “Circulation”.   They treated 160 patients who had moderate essential hypertension 3 to 5 times per week for 6 weeks using traditional oriental acupuncture points or sham (“placebo”) acupuncture, without patients knowing which treatment they were receiving. Their blood pressures were monitored over the course…

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Cavewoman fertility

The fertility of hunter gatherers is an interesting topic because without any contraception our ancestors had to naturally adjust their birth rate to their circumstances of survival…like all animals do. On average a woman would have about 5 children in her life, and back then, more often than not, over half of these children would die before reaching reproductive age themselves. From a survival point of view, if only 2…

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The key to pain-free acupuncture – precise electro-stimulation

Here at The Acupuncture Turning Point,  Alina and I (Gord) learned acupuncture from a traditional school of Chinese medicine. As with most oriental acupuncture colleges, we were taught techniques that can create a deep achy sensation (or “de Qi” in Chinese). This is not always painful, but can be uncomfortable, especially if we come back every few minutes to twist and turn the needle as indicated! There are other traditional…

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Bridging the Gap: Tradition vs Science

by Alina Tousseeva, MD, RAc

Practicing acupuncture in the modern world is not the same as it was for this self-contained system of medicine two thousand years ago. Oriental medicine evolved from an unique and well organized system based on an ancient knowledge and understanding of the human body. I am impressed with and appreciate the ability of Oriental medicine to map biologically active points of the body – in fact, it is evident to me and others that these very regions are used today diagnostically in modern medicine, discovered separately, and are referred to as viscero-somatic reflexes. Unlike modern medicine though, acupuncturists traditionally used these points for treatment as well as diagnosis.

Oriental medical protocols over the ages have been obediently learned and memorized by students of the old generations – this is the way of their learning. But now we require more scientific explanations beyond the original concept of “Qi”, or at least a more rational approach to integrate acupuncture within the modern context of science. Why?

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Chronic Pain – a journey into “No Man’s Land”

by Gord Grant PhD, RAc and Alina Tousseeva, RAc The majority of people with complex and unresolved pain find themselves vulnerable and frustrated in this “no-man’s land” of western medicine.  Often a specialist will exclude a problem from his or her domain if it does not meet given criteria leading to a clear diagnosis. As such, he or she cannot treat the problem from his or her way of training…

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