Acupuncture and Peripheral Neuropathy

Acupuncture and Peripheral Neuropathy

Think of nerves like the electrical cable of your body. They transport electrical impulses from the brain, helping you feel sensations and move your muscles, breathe, sweat, and digest food. Sometimes, the nerves outside of the brain and spinal cord (peripheral nerves) get damaged. This damage can come from diabetes, injuries, infections, and exposure to toxins. The result is sensations of weakness, numbness, and pain, often in the hands and feet. In some cases, peripheral neuropathy can impact digestion, urination, cognition, and circulation.

Peripheral neuropathy is a progressive, chronic condition. For a long time, treatments were limited to medications – antidepressants, pain medication, anti-seizure medications, and topical creams. While those can be helpful, they tend to treat the symptoms, and may not be effective in slowing or reversing the progression of the disease.

Treating peripheral neuropathy is one of our specialties at Affinity Acupuncture and Integrative Medicine in Nashville. Our team has specialized training in using acupuncture and supportive therapies, and has helped countless individuals not just relieve pain and discomfort, but also slow the progression of the nerve damage. We’ve even had clients who used wheelchairs when they began treatment, and improve enough to walk independently again.

Acupuncture is a non-invasive treatment free of the side effects that come with many medications. It can help the body recover from trauma, both acute and chronic. We use fine, micro-filament needles to help improve circulation and stimulate the nerve pathways. Acupuncture can also re-stimulate damaged nerve fibers and prevent them from dying off, in some cases slowing and reversing the progression of peripheral neuropathy.

If you or someone you know is living with peripheral neuropathy, acupuncture might be an effective treatment option. You can call our office at 615-939-2787 to set up an initial consultation with William. He works with clients to develop a specialized treatment plan specific to each individual’s needs. Our goal is to help you live your best life, and provide you with care, support, and expertise along the way.

Finding Quality Acupuncture in Brentwood, TN

Finding Quality Acupuncture in Brentwood, TN

There are many reasons a person might seek out Acupuncture in Brentwood, TN for their first time. Stress, chronic pain, or simply a desire to relax can pique someone’s interest. Entering the world of acupuncture is exciting, but can also be a little confusing at first.

How do you find a reputable acupuncturist? What do you look for in a facility?

These questions can leave a person with what feels like a lot to learn. However, finding a quality acupuncturist is easier than it might seem.

Here’s what you should look for when researching acupuncturists:

  1. Find an Approach That Aligns With Your Goals

  2. Experience

  3. Variety of Treatments

  4. Clean Facilities

  5. Full-Service Approach

  6. Stays Up-To-Date On Emerging Trends

  7. Accessible Location

1. Find an Approach That Aligns With Your Goals

Take a moment to figure out what it is you are looking to gain from an acupuncture treatment. Are you looking to treat a specific condition? Are you trying to find a new way to relax?

There are different forms of acupuncture that aim to treat different conditions. Traditional Chinese acupuncture is the oldest and most widely-practiced of the available approaches. It aims to treat the body as a whole. And it is through this understanding that it is able to address a wide variety of issues.

Look into local acupuncture facilities to find one that addresses your needs.

2. Experience

Everyone learns at their own pace. And there’s definitely nothing wrong with people trying to break into the acupuncture industry. These new faces on the scene have a lot to offer. But first-timers (as well as those experienced with acupuncture) have a lot to gain from finding a local acupuncturist with a significant amount of experience.

For instance, those in the area of Brentwood, TN have the option of visiting William Alexander. William has been a licensed acupuncturist since 2003.

This experience can not be substituted. A lot of knowledge can be gleaned from this many years of performing acupuncture sessions for a variety of people.

Visit Affinity Acupuncture in Brentwood, TN today!

3. Variety of Treatments

Speaking of variety, an assortment of available treatments is also very beneficial. You will be able to comfortably return to a facility once an initial rapport is established. Visiting multiple offices throughout the area can get tiresome. Wouldn’t it be better if you could make one stop for all your needs?

Affinity Acupuncture in Brentwood, TN offers not only various forms of acupuncture including Mei Zen cosmetic acupuncture, but also nutritional counseling.

The availability of multiple treatments reinforces the idea that the acupuncturist has your best interests at heart. Utilize a facility that has the ability to care for you in more ways than one.

4. Clean Facilities

The condition of the facility has a huge impact on your overall experience. These facilities need to be kept in immaculate condition. Frequent cleanings are essential.

But beyond that, the general appearance will also impact your level of enjoyment and the efficacy of the treatments.

Consult reviews from locals, look at pictures on the website, or visit the office itself to see how they take care of the place. Any indication that they allow their facility to fall into disrepair can be a sign that they aren’t as thorough as they need to be in other matters.

5. Full-Service Approach

This goes along with the idea of an acupuncturist offering a variety of treatments. The programs offered should address various aspects of the body and mind. These systems work together to create our daily experiences and need to be taken into account as a whole.

The most effective way to treat a patient is to address the whole picture. This includes diet, mental state, as well as physical conditions.

Visit the website of a potential acupuncturist and make sure they take a holistic approach to treatment. You can also contact them directly with any questions.

6. Stays Up-To-Date On Emerging Trends

Just because traditional Chinese acupuncture is thousands of years old doesn’t mean your acupuncturist shouldn’t pay attention to contemporary trends. New information is always being released and consulting these resources makes for the best acupuncture treatment.

Affinity Acupuncture in Brentwood makes a point of keeping apprised of all advancements and emerging methods of treatment. This insistence on continuing education is what makes the facility a local leader in the industry.

7. Accessible Location

One of the most basic considerations is that you need to find an acupuncturist that is easily accessible. You don’t want to drive across the state for an appointment. Look into your local options for potential acupuncture facilities and research the above attributes.

Those in Brentwood, TN don’t need to look any further than Affinity Acupuncture. William’s experience and continued focus on expanding knowledge make us the best option in middle Tennessee.

Contact Affinity Acupuncture today for Nashville Acupuncture treatments and appointments!

Does Acupuncture Affect Fertility?

Does Acupuncture Affect Fertility?

Having children is one of life’s greatest joys. Many couples place this as one of the most important aspects of their lives.

But what happens when it comes time to conceive and it just doesn’t happen? Infertility is generally defined as a failure to conceive after trying for a full calendar year.

This requires a lot of very specific processes within our bodies to line up perfectly. The inability to successfully complete this process and get the desired result on a pregnancy test can leave people feeling incomplete.

There is an entire industry devoted to treating this. There is a long list of prescribed medications all the way up to in vitro fertilization (IVF) available to people combating infertility.

However, many people either don’t have the necessary funds to afford these expensive treatments, or don’t want to explore unnatural means of achieving a pregnancy.

So what other options are available?

Acupuncture has been used to treat fertility issues for a very long time. But does it work?

Impact of Acupuncture on Fertility

There are a variety of reasons a couple might be unable to conceive. It could be everything from a hormonal imbalance to physical damage of the areas of the body that support pregnancy. Acupuncture has been shown to be very beneficial to supporting a hospitable environment for a pregnancy.

However, there are limitations to this. Acupuncture will not be able to fix physical damage to certain areas of the body — scarred ovaries, for instance.

These situations are frequently unable to be helped with any other form of fertility treatments, as well.

Acupuncture can be very beneficial to others having trouble conceiving due to factors outside of physical damage.

Tel Aviv University’s medical school conducted a test combining acupuncture and intrauterine insemination (IUI):

“When combining IUI with TCM treatments, 65.5 percent of the test group was able to conceive, compared with 39.4% of the control group, who received no herbal or acupuncture therapy. In the test group, 41.4% delivered healthy babies, compared with 26.9% of the control group.”

Acupuncture has shown the capacity of providing a list of benefits to couples throughout the pregnancy process. Initial conception is assisted (with or without the extra help of IUI as featured in the previously-mentioned study). Nausea and other physical discomfort during the pregnancy can be reduced. Acupuncture also has the ability to induce contractions in pregnancies that have lasted beyond their initial due date.

Visit Affinity Acupuncture for help with fertility issues in the Nashville, TN area today!

How Does it Help?

Reduces Stress

Stress in both the male and the female can have negative effects on their ability to conceive. Acupuncture has been used for centuries to help lower levels of stress. This capability can put both individuals in a better place to procreate.

Feelings of stress and depression are experienced by both individuals that find themselves unable to conceive, which only makes the problem worse. Acupuncture has been shown to have a positive impact on these conditions.

Cortisol is the hormone released when the body is experiencing stress. This has been shown to increase the risk of a pregnant woman having a miscarriage. The ability to mitigate this stress will not only help a couple to become pregnant, it can also help the pregnancy remain healthy as time goes on.

Increases Blood Flow

Proper and unimpeded blood flow is important for both the male and the female when trying to conceive. First, the male needs proper blood flow to his reproductive organs to properly perform the necessary bodily functions. Second, the woman’s reproductive organs also need strong blood flow in order to facilitate the conception.

Correctly-placed acupuncture needles can spur blood flow in areas of the body which can assist conception.

This advantage of acupuncture is beneficial in all patients, but it can directly assist couples seeking acupuncture for fertility issues.

Balances Hormones

According to Live Science:

“The endocrine system is the collection of glands that produce hormones that regulate metabolism, growth and development, tissue function, sexual function, reproduction, sleep, and mood, among other things.”

Acupuncture can directly affect the success of the endocrine system through targeting specific meridians within the body. This creates a healthy balance of released hormones which can have a positive impact on the ability to conceive.

Where Can You Find Acupuncture for Fertility in Nashville, TN?

Acupuncture for fertility issues is a specialized practice. Luckily for people in Nashville and the surrounding middle Tennessee area, Affinity Acupuncture has experience treating fertility issues along with other women’s health issues.

Acupuncture can address a variety of women’s health issues including:

  • Premenstrual syndrome
  • Female urethral syndrome
  • Hypo-ovarianism
  • And much more

Contact Affinity Acupuncture today for Nashville Acupuncture treatments and appointments!

Dry Needling: Explained

Dry Needling: Explained

Trigger Point Dry Needling and Acupuncture can seem to refer to the exact same practice. An outside observer sees the insertion of thin needles in a sterile but tranquil environment and assumes the results, methods, and treatments are the same.


This, however, is not true. Trigger point dry needling (aka: TDN) is actually quite different from the traditional practice of acupuncture. Although it is true that both practices use essentially the same tools — both TDN and acupuncture use very small, thin needles — they aim to treat different ailments in different ways.


Let’s remove some of the mystery associated with the relationship between Trigger point dry needling and acupuncture by explaining the differences between the two practices.




Trigger Point Dry Needling is a method used to treat pain resulting from neuromuscular skeletal conditions. Acupuncture can also be used to fight chronic pain (along with other ailments) but the issues addressed are different. Acupuncture aims to align the meridians of the body, while dry needling addresses trigger points. These trigger points are associated with specific points of pain within the muscular system. Needles are inserted into these trigger points, essentially releasing them and easing the pain that previously emanated from them.


Learn more about Trigger Point Needling in Nashville, TN today!




The origins of acupuncture and dry needling happened quite a long time away from each other. Acupuncture is dated back to ancient China over 4,000 years ago. Dry needling, however, dates back to the 1940’s and was coined by Dr. Janet Travell in the United States. She and Dr. David G. Simon identified most of the trigger points located throughout the human body. This is considered to be the first generation of the practice.


The second generation came in the 1970’s through the work of Dr. C. Gunn. He developed a treatment for myofascial pain called Intramuscular Stimulation (IMS). This work didn’t directly reference the first generation of dry needling, but the combination of these two fields of work are what informs the current practice.


This practice is continuing to evolve as we learn more about how trigger points affect our bodies and more research is conducted. Aspects of dry needling are being incorporated into other forms of physical therapy. Innovations are improving the results seen through TDN and expanding upon its current use.


Methods of Treatment


Insertion of thin needles might look similar when comparing dry needling to acupuncture, but the actual practice has some differences. First of all, acupuncture is generally performed by strategically placing needles along specific points in the body at a fairly shallow depth.


Dry needling is also performed with strategic placement, although as we said earlier the aim is to address trigger points and not meridians. The needles are also placed a little deeper for dry needling than they are for acupuncture and for shorter periods of time.


The depth at which the needles are placed depends on the specific trigger points and muscles that are to be addressed.


Uses for Trigger Point Needling


The application of needles to target specific trigger points can have a wide range of benefits for the patient. Although, it should be noted that trigger point dry needling is but one part of a larger physical therapy treatment plan to address a particular issue. A consultation with a trained acupuncturist will help put together a plan to treat the issue.


Trigger point dry needling can be used to treat a wide range of conditions such as repetitive stress injuries, neck pain, headaches, muscle tendonitis, frozen shoulder, carpal tunnel syndrome, sciatica, muscle strains, plantar fasciitis, rotator cuff impingement, and sacroiliac joint dysfunction.


What to Expect from Dry Needling?


Patients seeking dry needling can do a little preparation beforehand to help the treatment along. First, patients should eat a light meal between one and two hours before the appointment. Wear loose and comfortable clothing that can be rolled up if necessary to reach certain parts of the body.


The depth of the needles isn’t generally a concern for many patients. However, there is a possibility that the patient will feel the insertion of the needle. The goal is to elicit a local twitch response in the muscle which can occasionally result in brief pain that feels similar to a deep ache. However, these responses are generally very short.


It’s common to see benefits very soon after treatment. Depending on the issue being addressed, patients see improvements in range of motion and a decrease in previous symptoms. There can occasionally be bruising around the treated area as well as some soreness that clears up anywhere between a few hours a couple days after treatment.




Contact Affinity Acupuncture for dry needling treatment in Nashville!


Acupuncture for Neck Pain Relief

Acupuncture for Neck Pain Relief

There are a variety of reasons for someone to seek Acupuncture in Nashville. Some use it to address general anxiety they experience throughout the day. Others use it to address fertility issues. And still more people use it to diminish various types of physical pain.

Neck pain can be a debilitating factor in someone’s life. We don’t realize how often we turn our heads until it hurts to do so. This leads people suffering from neck pain to make costly doctor’s visits, take a continuous stream of painkillers, or any other means of finding relief from the pain.

And an increasingly popular means of doing so is to seek out acupuncture for neck pain.

But how does Acupuncture for Neck Pain work? Does it actually work? And where can I find acupuncture for neck pain near me?

How Does It Work?

Acupuncture involves strategic placement of very tiny needles into specific points in the skin. This process is done after a consultation with the acupuncturist. Your acupuncturist will ask you many questions regarding the reasons for your visit as well as your lifestyle habits. These two considerations might seem like they don’t have any relationship with each other, but they do.

Our diet and activities directly influence the way our body feels and grows as well as its ability to fight off infections. Inflammation is a result of your body trying to fight off a negative issue. However, this inflammatory response can occasionally end up doing more harm than good.

Acupuncture helps to open the pathways within the body to direct its natural energy in an advantageous way. It can reduce inflammation, which provides relief from stress that has built up within the body.

The consultation alerts the acupuncturist to the underlying issues, and the specific needle placement addresses these issues.

Visit Affinity Acupuncture to learn more about acupuncture for neck pain in Nashville!

How Effective Is It?

Acupuncture has been used for thousands of years. The practice spread to western societies in the 20th century and has since been studied on multiple occasions. The findings of these studies are almost always the same—they find positive benefits from acupuncture for the treatment of various types of pain, but they can’t explain exactly why it works.

There are theories outside of the traditional Chinese explanations of proper flow of qi through the body’s meridians. Many involve endorphins and stimulation of the body’s natural immune system.

But the reasons acupuncture for neck pain is effective doesn’t really matter to the person seeking relief. Those people only see the positive benefits and relief from chronic pain as a result of their acupuncture treatments.

The best metric of the effectiveness of acupuncture for neck pain is simply to try it yourself and see how you feel. Every person will experience any form of medicine differently, which will affect their ultimate benefits from the treatment.

How Do You Know If Acupuncture Is Right for You?

Acupuncture is perfect for anybody that can use its services. And the fact that acupuncture treats such a large amount of different conditions means it can be beneficial to just about everybody.

Neck pain can severely impact a person’s quality of life. It can be annoying and a severe detriment to your daily activities at first. But it can become a serious issue if the pain doesn’t go away.

Many patients are finding that multiple trips to the doctor or the chiropractor don’t offer sufficient relief. And the idea of using painkillers for an indefinite period of time isn’t attractive. Not only can it get expensive, it can take a toll on the body.

The bottom line is that you have nothing to lose and everything to gain by trying acupuncture. There are no major risks to the practice. Many people are learning of the pain treatment potential of acupuncture every day. So if you’re in need of relief from neck pain and traditional western medicine doesn’t seem to be helping, it’s time to seek out acupuncture for neck pain.

Where Can I Find Acupuncture for Neck Pain Near Me?

Those in the Nashville area can visit Affinity Acupuncture for Acupuncture for neck pain in Nashville TN. In fact, visitors will find a wide variety of potentially helpful treatments from Nutrition Counseling to Dry Needling, to other forms of traditional Chinese medicine.

It is our goal to help people in Nashville, Franklin, and anywhere else around middle Tennessee to find natural and effective treatments to make their lives more comfortable. We’ve been providing these services for years and are excited to show you the healing potential of these traditional, natural remedies.

Contact Affinity Acupuncture today for Nashville Acupuncture treatments and appointments!