Acupuncture and Chinese Medicine are potent modalities. The WHO has compiled a list of all the disorders for which acupuncture has been found effective for, and you can find that list on our Conditions Treated page. In the clinic setting, we see firsthand how effective acupuncture for is for these conditions and more. For some people, acupuncture works like a miracle cure. For others, acupuncture might only be a piece of the larger puzzle that brings them to a healthy state. One thing we see consistently is that acupuncture improves a person’s quality of life simply because it reduces stress, improves sleep, and helps people feel more “balanced.” Below are some specific conditions that acupuncture excels in treating. We encourage you to contact us to discuss your health and problems you may be experiencing. Together, we will explore the potential benefits of acupuncture for your situation.
Acupuncture for Pain Relief
Pain tends to come in two varieties: acute and chronic. Acupuncture treatment can be very helpful for both, but the treatment goals are different. It is helpful for patients to understand the difference.
Acute pain is the simpler variety. Acute pain is what results when you sprain your ankle: your nervous system sends you a signal that tells you something is wrong, and you need to stop doing what makes your ankle hurt. Acute pain is like a functioning alarm. You need to stay off your ankle in order to give it a chance to heal. For reasons nobody really understands, acupuncture speeds up the healing process. It reduces inflammation and swelling and also provides pain relief. Generally, for acute pain, we will recommend frequent treatments over a relatively short period of time.
A sub-set of acute pain is pain that is work-related or caused by over-use. There are thousands of people who experience this kind of pain: bartenders and baristas with wrist pain, construction workers with back pain, grocery workers with foot pain, teachers with headaches. Acupuncture helps us to maintain our bodies and keep doing these physically demanding jobs. This kind of pain responds very quickly to acupuncture, and usually requires on-going treatment as long as the patient is experiencing the over-use.
Chronic pain is something else altogether, and is much more complicated. Almost 30% of Americans suffer from chronic pain and it is often poorly understood, poorly treated, and stigmatized. In cases of chronic pain, there is often no diagnosis that can adequately explain why people are hurting. Many local pain management clinics and pain specialists are referring their patients out to alternative medical practitioners because the latest and best practices in pain management suggest trying many different approaches to manage pain – including acupuncture. One of the advantages of acupuncture for pain management is that acupuncturists don’t need to diagnose the cause of the pain in order to start treating it. We only need to know where and how intense the pain is. As an added bonus, we see acupuncture improving a person’s overall quality of life by improving side effects of chronic pain, like stress and fatigue.
Acupuncture for Smoking Cessation
If you if you or someone that you know is struggling with an addiction to smoking or nicotine, acupuncture can help. Many people have used specific acupuncture treatment protocols to help them in the initial withdrawal process. Acupuncture assists in the overcoming of the physical addition to nicotine and can greatly reduce the initial craving and stress that come along with the withdrawal process.
The protocol requires that a person receive acupuncture treatments on consecutive days during the initial withdrawal period. Usually this is around 2 or 3 treatments, but can be more depending on the amount of stress a person is feeling in their life. If smoking has been the fallback for stress and anxiety relief, then a few additional ‘booster’ treatments may be nessecary to help a person relax, strengthen their will power, and reduce their craving. Because we want to help you in taking this difficult step and because a simple ‘booster’ treatment can help immensely, people finding themselves suddenly in need of one can call and we can usually fit this treatment in the same day.
Acupuncture for Stress Relief
Many of our patients report that acupuncture makes them feel better, gives them more energy, helps them to think more clearly, sleep like a baby, and help stave off physical pain. These results often come from just a single session, and help individuals be more resistant to the stresses in their daily life. For reasons that are largely unknown, acupuncture is very relaxing. Through the course of a single treatment, research has shown that acupuncture can improve circulation to the extremities, lower blood pressure, slow down the heart rate, relax tense muscles, and promote the production of endorphins in the brain and body. All of these effects come from removing obstructions in a person’s energy flow. When energy moves, the body and mind function better and a person becomes more resistant to stress. The effects of acupuncture for stress relief are best incorporated through continual treatments to compound and establish these effects on the body and the mind more permanently.
Acupuncture for Insomnia
Getting to sleep and staying asleep can be a huge problem for some people. In many cases, Insomnia is secondary to what people come in for initially. They may have chronic pain that keeps them up, hormonal imbalances that cause them to be hot and restless, some suffer from chronic worry, and others are frustrated to suddenly find it hard to fall asleep for no apparent reason. A peaceful nights sleep is often the first thing that people notice after experiencing an initial treatment. This is always one of our first goals in treatment. A good night of sleep and regular circadian rhythms have a profound impact on health and well being.
Many people find that they doze off during the session or even while the needles are being inserted. After treatment, people feel relaxed, calmer and quite content; this is only one of the factors that allows a person’s body to slip into a peaceful slumber. In Chinese Medicine we say that we are allowing a person’s heart to connect with the rest of their body. Modern research shows that hormones produced during an acupuncture session allow for a healing response within the parasympathetic nervous system. We know that acupuncture is extremely effective for insomnia, sometimes without even intending to be.
Acupuncture for Skin Conditions
Chinese Medicine has literally hundreds – or thousands – of years of experience treating skin conditions. Many of the skin disorders that people face today such as psoriasis, eczema, and hives are the reaction of an over-active immune system. The exact cause for inflamatory skin disorders like those above is still largely unknown, but can come with allergies, asthma or other immune system imbalances. Acupuncture is helpful for skin conditions because it reduces inflammation and regulates an overactive immune system. Acupuncture can help in other ways by addressing chronic stress, food sensitivities or allergies, or hormonal imbalance, which may be hidden factors in an immune system running a little haywire. Treatment of skin conditions will often involve a host of different techniques and modalities, most importantly Herbal medicine. Taken internally and applied topically, an herbal preparation helps restore balance to the terrain of the body. This is a very delicate art and a custom herbal formula will be created for you and tailored over time until the condition is reversed. Often people can expect to see a reduction in uncomfortable symptoms such as itching or burning rather quickly. To learn more about Herbal medicine, please see our Chinese Herbal Medicine page.
Acupuncture for Fertility
Because of its proven effectiveness in reproductive health, acupuncture has been embraced throughout the world as a powerful complement to western medicine in the treatment of infertility. In modern reproductive medicine there are multiple reasons why a couple can have trouble conceiving. In Chinese Medicine this is no different and every patient receives an individualized treatment plan. This is one of the great strengths of Chinese Medicine. In almost all cases, acupuncture can assist western medical treatments or stand alone as a form of treatment. Consistent acupuncture will facilitate and improve blood circulation throughout the body, and help to stimulate and balance the body’s hormones. This improved circulation can be targeted toward the pelvic region and stimulate blood circulation in the uterus and ovaries, and help to balance reproductive hormones.