Ask Nurse Colleen: Can acupuncture enhance massage therapy?

Yes, acupuncture can enhance massage therapy and a lot of my patients have utilized it as a discipline to keep their bodies healthy. Most of my patients come for acupuncture after exhausting other alternatives. Acupuncture is slightly invasive due to the use of very fine needles which most patients find painless. A hands on approach is the best way to assess the body and therefore when I initially see patients I will often do an aromatherapy massage to determine the meridians which are out of balance. One form of acupuncture using massage is shiatsu or acupressure in which an acupuncture point is massaged vigorously using a friction technique for two minutes. Massage therapists and physiotherapist call this, myofascial release. This can be much more painful than needle acupuncture and can give the same result.

Any acupuncture point that is out of balance will be tender. Run your finger along your own hair line and you will find a scalp point. Massage it for two minutes, making sure you look at a clock. Through scientific research we know that these points are also reflex points which correlate to systems in your body and cause neurological responses. I am sure you know someone who loves to have their scalp massaged or their hands or feet rubbed and by doing so, you will be stimulating acupuncture points. It is almost impossible not to, as there are over 500 documented points on the body.

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