More people have been successfully treated with acupuncture than with all other health modalities combined. If that seems hard to believe, consider this: Acupuncture has been used for more than 2,000 years to treat a wide array of health issues.
Acupuncture, a form of traditional Chinese medicine, is now practiced all over the world. It can be utilized as an independent healing modality or combined with adjunctive treatments like chiropractic care, energy healing, and our conventional Western medicine. In fact, it is becoming increasingly common for Americans to hear their doctors recommend acupuncture. This time-tested wellness tool is enjoying growing acceptance from our modern healthcare system as a type of complementary medicine.
How Acupuncture Works
Explanations for how acupuncture works vary. The most up-to-date research suggests that stimulating specific areas of the body (known as acupuncture points) prompts the release of endorphins into the muscles, spinal cord, and brain. Often referred to as the brain’s feel-good chemicals, these neurotransmitters alter how we experience pain and trigger other hormones that influence the body’s own internal regulating system.
The classical Chinese explanation of acupuncture treatment is a bit different. According to the teachings of traditional Chinese medicine, energy channels called meridians run throughout the body. Separate and distinct from the more familiar veins, arteries, and nerves, these channels flow through the body, nourishing the organs and tissues by moving energy called “qi” (pronounced “chee”) that is vital to a person’s health and well-being. Any obstruction of the meridians or interference in the movement of the qi can lead to dysfunction in the body, because the organs and tissues are no longer receiving the nourishment that they require to function effectively. Acupuncture works by removing the blockages, clearing the meridians to help the energy flow smoothly.
Uses for Acupuncture
By restoring energy flow, acupuncture treatment stimulates the body’s own healing responses, supporting its ability to regulate itself and correct imbalances in function. This leads to improved health, healing, and emotional well-being and means that acupuncture can be utilized in the treatment of a variety of health concerns. At Loehr Chiropractic & Acupuncture, we use acupuncture to treat the following conditions:
- Chronic pain
- Digestive issues
- Migraine headaches
- Infertility and hormone imbalances
- Weight loss
- Smoking cessation
- Respiratory illness
Acupuncture Treatment Plans
The number and frequency of acupuncture treatments required depends on the patient’s unique health situation and their personal wellness goals. Acute problems may need only four or five treatments. For chronic or longstanding health ailments, a regimen of two to three treatments per week for several months may be required. Individuals who simply want to maintain their current health can often benefit from just three or four treatments a year.
The thought of getting stuck with a needle makes many people wince, but acupuncture needles are thinner than those commonly used for injections and vaccinations. What does acupuncture feel like? People experience acupuncture needles differently. Some patients report feeling no pain; others feel minimal discomfort as the needles are inserted. Most people describe acupuncture as being simultaneously very relaxing and refreshingly energizing.
For more information on how the acupuncturists at Loehr Chiropractic & Acupuncture can help, contact us today.