Introduction to Neuro-Anatomical Acupuncture

Once regarded as a mystical form of Eastern medicine, acupuncture has grown into one of the most popular modalities utilized in contemporary healthcare. Many types of healthcare providers now integrate acupuncture in clinical practice, including chiropractors, physiotherapists, and medical doctors.
Patients all over the world seek acupuncture treatment in its various forms for a multitude of ailments including but not limited to pain relief, headaches, arthritis, and sports injuries.
Numerous research trials demonstrating the effectiveness of acupuncture have recently been published in major medical journals. Other interesting lines of research currently in progress include investigations into the biomechanical effects of acupuncture on connective tissue structure, function, and healing, and its impact on the peripheral and central nervous systems.

What is Neuro-Anatomical Acupuncture?

Neuro-anatomical acupuncture is the biomedical adaptation of Chinese acupuncture methods, and is an effective and simple treatment approach based on current concepts of neurophysiology, neuroanatomy, and pathophysiology. A diagnosis is attained through thorough history taking and physical examination. Anatomical points that are relevant to the condition are selected for needling.
As in traditional acupuncture, neuro-anatomical acupuncture involves insertion of solid needles in combination with manual needle stimulation or electrical stimulation.

What are the benefits of Neuro-Anatomical Acupuncture?

Acupuncture is generally considered to have non-specific effects. This means that in addition to addressing acute injuries and symptoms, it can have generalized benefits for the body as a whole. The benefits of acupuncture can include, but are not limited to:
  • pain relief
  • decreased swelling and inflammation
  • muscle relaxation
  • pain modulation and endorphin release
  • changes in autonomic nervous system activity (vasomotor tone, cardiac rhythm, peristalsis etc.)
  • diverse neuroendocrine and immune responses
  • general relaxation
  • a feeling of psychophysical well being
  • improved sleep
  • nausea relief during chemotherapy
Research has shown good evidence for the short term effectiveness of acupuncture in many pain states. Long term research studies have also been encouraging, with success rates far higher than those associated with the placebo response.

Why should I choose Neuro-Anatomical Acupuncture?

Acupuncture can be very effective for treating both acute injuries and chronic conditions. When utilized by a trained healthcare professional, it is very safe.
Although acupuncture may help with many conditions and injuries, it will not cure a serious underlying problem such as lung disease, heart disease, tumors or cancers. Therefore, it is imperative that you continue to consult your medical doctor, and maintain all essential medical treatment if you have a serious medical problem. A neuro-anatomical acupuncture provider will be able to discuss your medical problems, understand the results of medical tests, and understand what medication you are taking and why – so be sure to inform them of this information.

How are Neuro-Anatomical Acupuncture providers trained in Canada?

Dr. Gelley obtained his certification in Neuro-Anatomical Acupuncture from the Acupuncture Foundation of Canada Institute (AFCI), now known as Acupuncture Canada. The program is only open to Physicians, Chiropractors, Physiotherapists, Dentists, Naturopaths, and Registered Nurses licensed in Canada, who are provided this exclusive eligibility due to an existing understanding of anatomy, physiology, and pathology.

How is Neuro-Anatomical Acupuncture regulated in Canada?

Acupuncture is not regulated by all provinces in Canada. It is therefore important that you choose a practitioner who is trained according to World Health Organization standards, and who is fully certified through a recognized, reputable program based in a university or college.

Is Neuro-Anatomical Acupuncture safe?

In the hands of properly trained and certified practitioners, acupuncture is a very safe form of treatment. However, any procedure involving insertion of needles into the body has some potential problems. In addition, there are a few "side effects" potentially produced by acupuncture treatment which can occur in some people. A well-trained practitioner will ask a patient to remain in a relaxed position after the first treatment with acupuncture, to ensure that no adverse reaction will develop.
Some of the side effects that you may, or may not, experience:
  • momentary discomfort where the needles are inserted
  • drowsiness and sleepiness
  • localized bruising
  • temporary worsening of your symptoms
  • feeling faint, during or after treatment
Some of the EXTREMELY RARE, but serious risks:
  • damage to an internal organ from insertion of a needle
  • infection in the area where the needle was inserted
  • infection spreading throughout the blood system to infect previously damaged heart valves