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Fascia

Fascia is a form of connective tissue. To aid in visualization it is the silvery skin on chicken breasts. It surrounds all our muscles, bones and viscera. Fascia forms a structural framework that acts to help disperse forces evenly throughout the body. When fascia is in a healthy state it creates a tensegrity that adds significant strength and structural adaptability.  When there is in damage to the muscle or joint structure there is a muscular splinting that occurs to protect the damaged area. After a short time the fascia takes over to splint the area to protect it from further injury. This is beneficial in the short term however fascia has a memory to it and over time without treatment this fascial memory maintains tightness in the area. If this fascial tension is not treated it acts like a wrung out sponge preventing proper fluid dynamics in the muscle leading to tightness that cannot be stretched out, muscular adhesions, decreased joint mobility and dry ropey muscle.

 

So how do we treat this? Luckily fascial tension can be treated in a multitude of ways, many of which can be done by patient. We treat fascia specifically with acupuncture, cupping and manual therapy.

Acupuncture
 

Acupuncture is intended to bring the body back to balance. Neurofunctional Acupuncture is a contemporary method that targets the nervous system to restore balance to nerves, muscles and joints. Neurofunctional Acupuncture is a stimulation of peripheral nervous system, central nervous system and supraspinal modulation using acupuncture and electric stimulation for therapeutic purposes. These treatments are performed to induce analgesia in muscles and joints by: stimulating increase of blood flow, and activation of endogenous pain inhibitory systems. Simply put this treatment has the potential to break the pain pathway and reduces pain associated with irritation of various nerves, corrects muscle imbalances/dysfunction, and decreases inflammation of local tissue structures. 

 

Neurofunctional Acupuncture is mechanism-based, not disease-based. Therapeutic goals and treatment targets are selected based on the identified neurological dysfunctions contributing to the clinical presentation of the symptoms. Sometimes Contemporary Medical Acupuncture treatments result in transient amelioration or disappearance of the symptoms, and other times results in permanent resolution of the 

dysfunction, especially when dysregulation of the nervous system was the underlying pathophysiological mechanism. Neurofunctional 

Acupuncture is a physiological intervention similar to exercise that elicits existing available regulatory mechanisms through the up-regulation and downregulation of specific cellular processes. 

During the treatment a set number of thin acupuncture needles are placed either along the extremity, back, or chest. The goal is to find the correct functional areas in order to reduce pain and or inflammation. A combination of palpation, knowledge of anatomy, and physical exam are used to guide needle placement. The number of needles placed varies from individual and depends on the presentation of the patient and the findings on functional assessment. An electric muscle stimulator is used to verify the correct needle placement. Needle placement is along muscles, bones, joints, nerves, and soft tissue. Following that verification, the needles are connected to an electrical stimulation unit. The electrical stimulation provides a small, comfortable electrical impulse that leads to a much more effective treatment than the acupuncture needles alone.

The occurrence of adverse reactions from the treatment is very low. Risks and potential adverse reactions include: fainting, nausea, aching or a sense of tightness, pain at the site of needle placement, temporary weakness or fatigue in the treated muscles, bleeding/bruising, infection, numbness, weakness, allergic reaction, headache, or nerve injury. Every precaution is taken to ensure your safety during the treatment, and to minimize the risk of any potential side effects.

 
Suction Cup Therapy "Cupping"

Suction Cup Therapy or Cupping is a traditional modality used to treat internal disease as well as musculoskeletal problems. We focus on the musculoskeletal aspect of cupping. Cupping is effective in treating tension, inflammation, and scar tissue. In our treatment we use a hand pump and plastic or silicon cups for convenience and because it give a greater amount of adjustability in treatment. In this description we will use an analogy that gives a good visual representation to the uses of cupping.

If you imagine a health muscle or joint like a river where the water is the blood, the riverbank is the tissue, and the grass and the fish represent the metabolism of the tissue. In a healthy river the water flows at a moderate pace and it is clear and clean, the riverbanks are free of debris and the fish and grass grow strong. A minor injury is like throwing a hand full of sticks in to the river. The sticks represent tissue damage or debris, scar tissue or haemolysed blood. In a healthy river the sticks get washed down stream and there is little effect on the river itself. However, in chronic strain injuries it is like throwing handful after handful of sticks in to the river; or in a major injury, accident, or illness it is like dumping a dump truck of sticks in to the river. Now the river gets block and the sticks form a beaver damn. The effect down stream is a reduction of flow and a starvation of nutrients resulting in the fish and grass dying and the riverbanks drying up. The effect up stream is a boggy marsh where the nutrients get used up quickly and the area becomes still and toxic. Therefore again the fish and grass start dying.  In addition to the marsh area the water is flowing slowly and we develop a layer of scum on the top of the water. This layer of scum represents pro-inflammatory substances secreted by the tissue from irritation caused by the uncleared tissue debris of the and the toxic environment.

Cupping acts as a backhoe to pull up that layer of scum, still water and break up some of the beaver dam and puts it on the riverbank so the river can flow better and bring in new nutrients to the area. This allows the area the potential to heal further. The effect of this is that the patient typically feels tensional relief, the muscle feels lighter and more mobile. There is often superficial edema and discolouration which clears up within days.

Micro current is a very low electrical current. Generally speaking it is subsensory. This type of electric stimulation has been scientifically proven to show benefit for plethora of clinical indications:

 

  • Nerve regeneration

  • Tendon/ligament repair

  • Macular degeneration

  • Adipose tissue loss / “weight” loss

  • PTSD

  • Insomnia

  • Depression

  • Migraine relief

  • Bone repair

  • Skin tightening 

 

It works differently than your typical electric acupuncture or TENS machines by using a frequency specific low level current (1/1000 that of TENS) that allows the stimulation to enter the body at the cellular level to stimulate and enhance cellular energy production (ATP); some studies have suggested increases up to 500%. Thereby allowing the cells to increase metabolic function at its most basic levels resulting in faster recovery time.

Micro Current
 
 

Laser Therapy

Laser therapy is ideal for many conditions and works using light photons to promote healing. Photobiomodulation or light therapy is used to increase energy production by the cell. A by product of this reaction increases blood flow and a secondary reaction reduces inflammation. Common indications for laser therapy are: 

  • Wound regeneration

  • Bone repair 

  • Inflammatory conditions 

  • Arthritis

  • Muscle/tendon tears

Our laser is a class 4 laser giving it greater depth penetration, and quicker results than the more common therapeutic lasers.