Acupuncture when performed by a medical professional (MD-medical doctor, DO-doctor of osteopathy, DC-doctor of chiropractic medicine) is typically covered by your insurance benefits. Call our office for more details.
Acupuncture is a method of encouraging the body to promote natural healing and to improve functioning. This is done by inserting needles and applying heat or electrical stimulation at very precise acupuncture points.
The classical Chinese explanation is that channels of energy run in regular patterns through the body and over its surface. These energy channels, called meridians, are like rivers flowing through the body to irrigate and nourish the tissues. An obstruction in the movement of these energy rivers is like a dam that backs up in others.
The meridians can be influenced by needling the acupuncture points; the acupuncture needles unblock the obstructions at the dams, and reestablish the regular flow through the meridians. Acupuncture treatments can therefore help the body's internal organs to correct imbalances in their digestion, absorption, and energy production activities, and in the circulation of their energy through the meridians.
The modern scientific explanation is that needling the acupuncture points stimulates the nervous system to release chemicals in the muscles, spinal cord, and brain. These chemicals will either change the experience of pain, or they will trigger the release of other chemicals and hormones which influence the body's own internal regulating system.
The improved energy and biochemical balance produced by acupuncture results in stimulating the body's natural healing abilities, and in promoting physical and emotional well-being.
Acupuncture is a very old medical art, and there are many approaches to learning and practicing it. Medical acupuncture is the term used to describe acupuncture performed by a doctor trained and licensed in Western medicine who has also had thorough training in acupuncture as a specialty practice. Such a doctor can use one or the other approach, or a combination of both as the need arises, to treat an illness.
Medical acupuncture is a system which can influence three areas of health care:
- Promotion of health and well-being,
- Prevention of illness,
- Treatment of various medical conditions.
While acupuncture is often associated with pain control, in the hands of a well-trained practitioner it has much broader applications. Acupuncture can be effective as the only treatment used, or as the support or adjunct to other medial treatment forms in many medical and surgical disorders.The World Health Organization recognizes the use of acupuncture in the treatment of a wide range of medical problems, including:
- Digestive disorders: gastritis and hyperacidity, spastic colon, constipation, diarrhea.
- Respiratory disorders: sinusitis, sore throat, bronchitis, asthma, recurrent chest infections.
- Neurological and muscular disorders: headaches, facial tics, neck pain, rib neuritis, frozen shoulder, tennis elbow, various forms of tendinitis, low back pain, sciatica, osteoarthritis.
- Urinary, menstrual, and reproductive problems.
Acupuncture is particularly useful in resolving physical problems related to tension and stress and emotional conditions.
Acupuncture is based on the principle that there are energetic (Qi) pathways, or channels, throughout the body that influence associated internal organs and structures. Energy from these pathways surfaces at various points on the body, identified as acupuncture points. Each of these acupuncture points serves as a tunnel, or access route, to the deeper circulatory channels within. Extremely fine gauge needles are inserted at selected areas, stimulating these points and thereby activating the body’s natural healing abilities.
Acupuncture is a safe, natural, effective and enjoyable way to treat a variety of conditions and promote well-being:
- Women’s issues, including painful periods, menopause, infertility and other gynecological issues.
- Chronic pain, especially joint and muscle pain, arthritis, as well as headaches and other discomforts.
- Fatigue, including chronic fatigue syndrome, or a general feeling of being down.
- Mood, de-stress, stabilize anxiety, manage depression or combat addictions naturally.
- Immunity & Digestion, boost your body’s natural defenses. Acupuncture can also aid in weight loss and craving reduction.
- Most chronic conditions such as allergies, asthma, and more respond extremely well to acupuncture.
- Most conditions that respond to drug treatment, respond even better to acupuncture and Chinese herbs – without side effects. However, we insist on partnering with your doctor to determine a proper course of treatment. Some medications need special care and planning.
Treatments begin with a thorough history and examination. Your acupuncturist will spend time getting a complete picture of your health and lifestyle, in an effort to treat your whole person not just the symptoms of your condition. Typically acupuncture treatments are given once or twice or three times a week. If the condition is acute and painful, treatments may be given four to five times per week until symptoms start to come under control. The exact duration of treatment depends on your basic level of health, and how well you respond to treatment.
Acupuncture is essentially painless. The most common sensation that is felt is a small ‘mosquito bite’ feeling as the needle is inserted into the skin, followed by a dull ache as the needle is brought to the proper depth. This sensation typically fades and patients report a deep sense of relaxation.
“When there is flow, there is no pain. When there is pain, there is no flow.” Ancient Chinese Adage