Acupuncture , like chiropractic, is a method of encouraging the body to promote natural healing and to improve functioning. Acupuncture encourages the muscles and other soft tissue to self-heal, which benefits all the body's systems including the musculoskeletal system. Acupuncture is particularly useful in resolving physical problems related to tension and stress and emotional conditions. A lthough acupuncture is effective in treating a myriad of conditions, acupuncture in our office is focused exclusively on the treatment of musculoskeletal conditions.
Over thousands of year, people have been successfully treated with acupuncture than with all other health modalities combined. Today acupuncture is practiced widely in Europe, Asia, and is now in America.
The modern explanation of how Acupuncture works is that needling on 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 the 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. It can be used alone or in conjunction with other treatment forms.
This treatment was developed over 3,000 years ago by the ancient Chinese, who used this as the physical art of balance and harmony They believed that acupuncture involved a network of energy channels just below the surface of the skin. A blockage in the movement of these energy rivers was like a dam that backs up in other areas and energy is unable to flow freely to the different regions of the body. They believed that the use of needles at very precise points was a stimulus that could free the blockage.
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.
HOW MANY TREATMENTS WILL I NEED?
The number of treatments needed differs from person to person. For complex or long-standing conditions, one or two treatments a week for several months may be recommended.
ARE THERE ANY SIDE EFFECTS TO THE TREATMENT?
Occasionally the original symptoms worsen for a few days, or other general changes in appetite, sleep, bowel or urination patterns, or emotional state may be triggered. These should not cause concern, as they are simply indications that the acupuncture is starting to work. It is quite common with the first one or two treatments to have a sensation of deep relaxation or even mild disorientation immediately following the treatment. These pass within a short time, and never require anything more than a bit of rest to overcome.
DO THE NEEDLES HURT?
Most patients feel only minimal pain as the needles are inserted; some feel no pain at all. Once the needles are in place, there is no pain felt. Acupuncture needles are very thin and solid and are made from stainless steel. The point is smooth and insertion through the skin is not as painful as injections or blood sampling. Because your doctor carefully sterilizes the needles using the same techniques as for surgical instruments, or uses disposable needles, there is no risk of infection from the treatments.
"DO'S AND DONT'S" ON THE DAY OF A TREATMENT
To enhance the value of a treatment, the following guidelines are important:
- Do not eat an unusually large meal immediately before or after your treatment.
- Do not over-exercise, engage in sexual activity, or consume alcoholic beverages within 6 hours before or after the treatment.
- Plan your activities so that after the treatment you can get some rest, or at least not have to be working at top performance. This is especially important for the first few visits.
- Continue to take any prescription medicines as directed by your regular doctor. Substance abuse (drugs and alcohol) especially in the week prior to treatment, will seriously interfere with the effectiveness of acupuncture treatments.
- Remember to keep good mental or written notes of what your response is to the treatment. This is important for your doctor to know so that the follow-up treatments can be designed to best help you and your problem