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Which is better? Acupuncture or Massage?




Acupuncture involves the insertion of needles into the body to create good health. Massage uses healthy touch to promote good health.

How do you know when to use either acupuncture or massage and which one is better for you?

Well, it depends.

It depends on what goals you have for your health and what exactly you need from your alternative health care. We’ll look in this article at the similar conditions both acupuncture and massage can treat. Then we’ll look at the differences between these two amazing complementary health care modalities, to have a better idea of what’s best for you.



Acupuncture and massage are both great for musculoskeletal dysfunctions, for example an achy lower back and neck because of stiff muscles or a sore ankle because of a mild sprain. Acupuncture works by signaling to the body “hey something is not at its best here” and the body responds by creating biochemical changes design to promote healing. Massage like acupuncture increases local circulation to an injured area. In general, when a musculoskeletal condition is not acute, massage can be used to quickly stretch and relax spastic muscles, tendons, and fascia. Acupuncture however, can be used for acute conditions, because acupuncturists don’t have to needle into the exact spot of an injury to promote healing and pain relief. Massage is excellent for postural dysfunctions that can lead to stiffness and pain. Massage can also quickly aid in the healing of many musculoskeletal problems, sometimes faster than acupuncture can.

Both massage and acupuncture are great for stress relief. Massage promotes the release of oxytocin. Oxytocin counters the effects of cortisol- our stress hormone and can help us feel more relaxed and balanced. Acupuncture also stimulates the release of oxytocin. In Traditional Chinese Medicine when we are stressed, anxious or depressed the energy of our bodies is not flowing as it should. By needling specific acupuncture points we can promote the smooth flow of energy in our bodies, reducing the negative effects of stress and promoting relaxation. Massage and acupuncture can both promote good sleep and better circulation throughout the body.

The World Health Organization has stated acupuncture is useful in the treatment of several conditions. Compared to massage, acupuncture is exceptionally good to alleviate pain, whether acute or chronic. Headaches, arthritis, irritable bowel syndrome, pre-menopausal pain, cancer pain, neuralgia, joint pain, eye pain, toothache and post-operative pain etc. may all respond well to acupuncture. Acupuncture can also be used for infertility, ear, nose and throat disorders, urinary and digestive disorders. Massage on the other hand may not be useful in the treatment of some of these conditions. Acupuncture also shines as a form of complementary healthcare that promotes optimal health. With regular acupuncture treatments your energy levels may improve. You may also find yourself not getting sick or feeling as overworked or as overwhelmed as you did before starting regular acupuncture treatments. By needling the body acupuncturists can deeply affect the health of our internal organs. This is something massage cannot normally do.

To conclude hopefully you now have some idea of when to choose either acupuncture or massage. Discussing your health needs and goals with either an acupuncturist or a massage therapist can also help you figure out which of these health care modalities is best for you. Here in North West Calgary at North West Vibrational Acupuncture and Massage we offer acu-massage treatments. These treatments are a combination of the goodness of both acupuncture and massage. So, if you live in North West Calgary or the greater Calgary area or you are visiting our lovely city and you are looking for either massage or acupuncture or both in the north west of the city, we have services to suit your goals and needs. We look forward to serving you.

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