More than 10 million acupuncture treatments are provided annually in the United States. Its rising popularity is due to its clear effectiveness for pain relief, increased range of motion, and reduced inflammation.
Acupuncture is a procedure where fine, sterile needles are used to stimulate the skin in order to alleviate a variety of ailments. It has been adopted by medical professionals as a noninvasive treatment for a variety of conditions.
Acupuncture is believed to work via the central nervous system, resulting in chemical changes in the muscles, spinal cord, and brain. These chemical alterations may trigger the body’s natural healing processes and promote physical and mental well-being.
There have been multiple studies over the years dedicated to understanding the effectiveness of acupuncture. Although research is ongoing; here are some of the conditions that experts have concluded that acupuncture treatment may help with:
Acupuncture is said to block pain by boosting the production of substances called endorphins.
Because there are many acupuncture points near nerves, the dull ache or sensation of fullness in muscle resulting from nerve stimulation is caused by endorphins, which are self-produced analgesics during pain or stress. The stimulated area sends a message to the central nervous system (brain and spinal cord), which releases endorphins in response. Endorphins, along with other neurotransmitters (body chemicals that modify nerve impulses), block the message of pain from being delivered to the brain.
There are several types of pain, ranging from sharp to dull, from constant to intermittent, and from localized to spread throughout the body. The nervous system produces the sensation of pain.
It is important to address any health issues or injuries causing the pain immediately. Pain may often last for weeks, months, or even years, warning us of underlying problems.
There are multiple reasons why someone might have constant or chronic pain. It might be due to an ongoing condition such as arthritis, or it might be caused by abnormal activity in pain-sensing brain regions, or it might have unknown causes.
In addition to treating the symptoms of headaches and migraines, acupuncture can provide powerful and often long-standing relief without the side effects that prescription and over-the-counter drugs may cause. Migraines and headaches, as well as their underlying causes, have been treated with acupuncture for thousands of years, and it is a widely-accepted method of treatment in our society.
Traditional Chinese medicine does not recognize migraines and recurring headaches as one specific disease or condition. Instead, acupuncture is tailored for you specifically. This gives a customized, unique, and effective approach to each patient.
Specific points on the skin surface are able to alter a variety of biochemical and physiological conditions and are stimulated in order to treat chronic headaches and migraines.
Frustration, anger, and anxiety can all cause you to experience stress from any situation or thought. Everyone experiences stress. However, what one person finds stressful may not bother another. Small amounts of stress can motivate you and help you be more productive, but too much can be detrimental.
Persistent and unrelenting stress often leads to anxiety and/or depression. Studies have shown that increased and constant stress can decrease the number of white blood cells, which defend us against viruses. This leads to a weakened immune system.
Acupuncture has been shown to be one of the most effective methods for reducing the harmful effects of stress and promoting the relaxation response.
Acupuncture causes your body to release the same chemicals released when you are happy and calm, called endorphins. These endorphins are natural opiates that relieve pain and increase a person’s sense of relaxation and well-being. These endorphas provide a person with a “natural high” comparable to the effects that drugs or joyful experiences can have. This feeling of well-being produced by acupuncture is one of the reasons that acupuncture is so useful in the treatment of depression and anxiety.
Acupuncture also helps relaxation by decreasing muscular tension. You’ll feel as if you just received a great, deep massage after a session.
Patients frequently report having trouble falling asleep or staying asleep. Chronic insomnia is defined as having inadequate sleep for at least three nights a week for one month or longer.
There are several factors that can interfere with sleep, including stress, anxiety, medications, and physical ailments. Western medicine has very little to offer patients in terms of relief. Antidepressants or sleep medications might be appropriate, but they might have undesired side effects.
Because it directly affects the nervous system, acupuncture can help correct sleep-related imbalances without causing side effects.
Individual types of insomnia require specific treatments. Acupuncture insomnia treatment is customized to meet the individual’s needs.
Gastrointestinal problems can be effectively treated with acupuncture including nausea and vomiting, functional disorders (irritable bowel syndrome, constipation, and diarrhea), peptic ulcer disease, Crohn’s disease, postoperative ileus, and even gallstone disease by regulating systems in the body through nerve stimulation.
Acupuncture helps to focus on a whole-body approach to your condition rather than just the disease’s symptoms. Dietary and lifestyle suggestions may be made to assist in your recovery.
Conditions that respond well to acupuncture include abdominal pain, chronic gastritis, and Inflammatory bowel diseases.
Acupuncture during pregnancy can have positive effects. Acupuncture can help alleviate morning sickness from the beginning. As the body adjusts, it can alleviate issues ranging from back pain to constipation. It can also increase blood flow around the uterus prior to labor, preparing the body for childbirth.
Acupuncture can help with getting pregnant. Besides being used to treat ovarian problems, acupuncture can aid with fertility.
Acupuncture is able to increase the chances of pregnancy through natural conception, In Vitro Fertilization (IVF), Intrauterine Insemination (IUI), and other Assisted Reproductive Technologies (ARTs) because it has been clinically shown to regulate and stabilize hormone levels, help produce more follicles, increase blood flow to the uterus and ovaries, thicken the endometrial lining, reduce the chance of miscarriage, strengthen the immune system and promote the overall health of the body.
Regardless of your age, acupuncture can help to address hormonal issues by stimulating your body’s innate hormone production.
Acupuncture is well suited to treating a variety of Women’s Health issues, including PMS, irregular or painful periods, menopause, and hormone imbalances.
Those suffering from PMS or irregular or painful periods can benefit from acupuncture treatment, as it has been shown to reduce pain. The release of endorphins from acupuncture treatment and the resulting relaxation are the dual benefits that provide relief from pain.
In addition to reducing hot flashes and mood swings, acupuncture was shown in a Danish study in 2019 to improve menopause symptoms such as fatigue, sleeplessness, and irritability.
Dietary and lifestyle suggestions may be made to assist in the treatment of your condition.
Dry needling is a procedure that is performed by an acupuncturist or a medically trained professional. A monofilament needle is used to penetrate the skin and eliminate trigger points that cause neuromusculoskeletal pain and mobility issues.
Trigger points, or tiny muscle knots, can cause pain or discomfort by limiting motion, restricting blood flow, or causing local tenderness. Dry needling is a noninvasive way to treat trigger points. When trigger points are treated, they are less painful and less restricted.
According to the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, Dry Needling is a form of acupuncture. It has been used for centuries and is known as “ahshi” or “painful spot” needling, with a focus on needling the muscle to decrease pain and increase the range of motion.
Dry needling aims to deactivate trigger points and relieve muscle-related pain by treating muscle tissue.
Dry needling can treat a wide variety of musculoskeletal problems, including shoulder, neck, heel, hip, and back discomfort.
Our clinical experts — medical practitioners, physical therapists, chiropractors, and licensed acupuncturists — will develop a comprehensive treatment plan that will eliminate your pain or condition and improve your well-being in more ways than one.
If you’re ready to start living your life pain-free, find your nearest location to schedule an appointment today.