What Problems Does Acupuncture Treat?

What Problems Does Acupuncture Treat?

Acupuncture, a cornerstone of traditional Chinese medicine, has traversed centuries, evolving from ancient art to a modern-day therapeutic practice recognized globally. This technique involves the insertion of fine needles into specific points on the body to stimulate healing and wellness. Despite its historical roots, acupuncture has gained widespread acceptance in Western medicine due to its effectiveness in treating a variety of ailments. Below, we explore what problems does acupuncture treat.

Pain Management

One of the most common applications of acupuncture is in pain relief. Numerous studies have demonstrated its efficacy in treating chronic pain conditions, including:

Chronic back pain: Acupuncture can help reduce the intensity and frequency of back pain by promoting blood flow and triggering the release of natural painkillers in the body.

Arthritis: Particularly for osteoarthritis, the most common type of arthritis, acupuncture has shown promise in reducing pain and improving mobility.

Headaches and migraines: Regular acupuncture sessions can decrease the frequency and severity of migraines and tension-type headaches.

Stress, Anxiety, and Depression

Acupuncture is known for its ability to reduce stress and improve emotional health by balancing the body’s energy or Qi. The practice is believed to stimulate the nervous system to release chemicals in the muscles, spinal cord, and brain, which can change the experience of stress, and promote physical and emotional well-being.

Stress: By reducing stress hormone levels, acupuncture can help mitigate the physical and psychological impacts of stress.

Anxiety and depression: Several studies suggest that acupuncture can have a positive effect on anxiety and depression, making it a complementary treatment for these conditions.

Digestive Disorders

Acupuncture has been found useful in managing various gastrointestinal disorders by enhancing digestive functions and alleviating symptoms of discomfort.

Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS): Symptoms like abdominal pain, bloating, and irregular bowel movements can be effectively managed with acupuncture.

Nausea and vomiting: Especially postoperative nausea and chemotherapy-induced nausea, acupuncture at specific points has been shown to be particularly beneficial.

Respiratory Conditions

Traditional Chinese medicine uses acupuncture to treat and manage symptoms of several respiratory conditions.

Allergic rhinitis: Acupuncture may help improve symptoms of nasal congestion, sneezing, and runny nose associated with seasonal allergies.

Asthma: While not a substitute for conventional asthma treatment, acupuncture can be used as a complementary therapy to help manage symptoms and reduce flare-ups.

Fertility and Women’s Health

Acupuncture has been touted for its role in enhancing fertility by improving blood flow to reproductive organs and balancing hormone levels. It is often used in conjunction with other fertility treatments.

Menstrual cramps and PMS: Regular sessions can help alleviate the severity of menstrual cramps and premenstrual syndrome.

Menopausal symptoms: Acupuncture can help manage symptoms associated with menopause, such as hot flashes, night sweats, and mood swings.

Conclusion

Acupuncture is effective for many health issues. Patients interested in acupuncture should seek treatment from a licensed practitioner to ensure safety and effectiveness. As with any medical treatment, it’s important to consult with a healthcare provider to see if acupuncture is right for you and how it might fit into your overall health plan.

If you are ready to see how acupuncture can benefit you, schedule a consult today by contacting Affinity Acupuncture & Integrative Medicine at 615-939-2787 and discover how acupuncture can transform your approach to managing ailments, paving the way for a healthier, more vibrant life.

4/17/2024

By Dr. William Alexander

Keeping Your Cool

Keeping Your Cool

It’s walk outside and sweat season here in Tennessee and other parts of the world – the pavement is literally melting in parts of Europe. Staying locked indoors isn’t an option for most of us, so we need to be able to keep our cool when the mercury is near 100.

Eat for the Heat

Get creative with meals that don’t require the stove, like salads, fresh fruits, and sandwiches. Or, make a large batch of something that doesn’t require reheating, like pasta salad, so you only have to cook once.

Also, keep portion sizes small. Digestion uses a lot of energy, and the fuller you are, the more heat is produced in the process. Foods with a lot of sugar and stimulants, like caffeine and alcohol, also impact temperature regulation.

Eat foods with a high water content – cantaloupe, watermelon, strawberries, cucumber, and celery.

Add peppermint to your iced tea – menthol produces a cooling effect.

Get Plenty of Water – In and On the Body

Drink water before you’re thirsty to help avoid heat stress.

Focus on pulse points – wrists, neck, the inside of your elbows and knees, and the tops of your feet. A cold, wet towel or bandana on these areas, or running them under cold water, helps lower body temperature.

Keep a water bottle nearby for a spritz. You can even add cucumber juice or aloe vera juice to the water, which each have cooling properties.

Know the Signs of Heat Illness

Dizziness, weakness, nausea, pale skin, and a rapid pulse can indicate heat illness. If someone with these symptoms goes from heavy sweating to dry skin, that could indicate an escalation from heat exhaustion to heat stroke.

Improve Heating and Cooling Measures

Caulk any gaps around doors and windows
Keep the blinds closed, especially at mid-day
Run ceiling fans counter clockwise to pull the cooler air up from the floor and down toward you
Put a bowl of ice in front of standing fans

Grab Some Aloe Vera Gel

Aloe vera gel has naturally cooling properties, and can help lower the body’s temperature when applied to the skin, especially on pulse points.

 

See Nashville acupuncture services and treatment 

Acupuncture and Gut Health

Acupuncture and Gut Health

In a recent post, Trust Your Gut, we talked about the importance of gut health, and how a healthy gut is important to the immune system and balancing the gut-brain axis and nervous system. We have gotten so used to tummy troubles that a lot of people suffer daily, even without a diagnosed digestive disorder; at times, it can be hard to pinpoint the source of the discomfort. Americans are inundated with articles about food sensitivity, overconsumption, and other factors that lead to gastrointestinal problems. The good news is, acupuncture is a safe, effective approach to improving overall gut health, which has a positive impact throughout the body.

Acupuncture can help improve the performance of the different organs in the abdomen, as well as the nervous system, and balance hormonal imbalances – all of which impact gut health. An overactive nervous system alone decreases digestive function, which has a negative impact on how effectively our bodies absorb nutrients and process waste.

The Major Players

Generally, when we think about gut health, the stomach gets all of the attention. There’s more to how the digestive system works.

OrganFunction
MouthChewing, beginning of food breakdown through saliva
EsophagusPeristalsis – the movement of organ walls, allowing food and liquid to move through the GI tract
StomachWhere food and digestive juices meet
Small intestinePeristalsis
PancreasProduces digestive juices that help break down carbohydrates, fats, and proteins
LiverProcesses nutrients absorbed by the small intestine
Large intestinePeristalsis

Recent studies show that acupuncture can help promote or decrease peristalsis and reduce certain acid outputs.

Some of the areas acupuncture can impact:

Acid Reflux

Colitis

Crohn’s Disease

Irritable Bowel Syndrome

Constipation

Weight Fluctuation

Fatigue

Bloating

Diarrhea

Nausea

Sour Stomach

Cramping

Abdominal Pain

Nashville’s Best Acupuncturist

Acupuncture has been effective in treating areas of digestive distress for thousands of years. Your acupuncturist will look at the body as a system, rather than a sum of individual parts, in developing a treatment plan specific to you and your needs.

Contact Affinity Acupuncture for Nashville Acupuncture treatments and techniques.

Acupuncture for Allergies

Acupuncture for Allergies

It’s May, and everything in Nashville is covered in a layer of pollen. We go through it every year, but the scratchy throat, itchy eyes, and runny nose are still an unpleasant harbinger of spring. Some allergens are around us all the time in the form of dust mites, pet dander, or food sensitivities.

Allergies trigger histamines, which are incredibly helpful for the body – they help the body get rid of something bothering you, like an allergy. They’re part of the body’s defense system and want to get rid of the stimulant, which is why you might sneeze, tear up, or itch. When your body is triggered by an allergen, your immune system signals mast cells in the skin, lungs, nose, mouth, gut, and blood to release histamines. The histamines boost blood flow in the affected area, causing inflammation and inviting other parts of the body’s defense system to engage.

Sometimes, the histamine response is dramatic and prolonged, such as when a tick bite triggers an Alpha Gal response and an allergic response to animal products. Acupuncture is one of the only techniques that can effectively reduce the severity of an Alpha-Gal response – there are no drugs, vaccines, or allergy shots available.

Acupuncture Treatments with Affinity Acupuncture

Acupuncture treatments can help with other environmental, seasonal, and food allergies also – by up to 80-95%. A simple protocol involves an exam, one visit, and one needle. We help identify the allergen, place a small needle in the ear for several weeks, and then allergens can be carefully and systematically reintroduced. For allergies severe enough to anaphylactic shock – the goal is not to intentionally reintroduce, but to lessen the severity of response if the body is exposed to the allergen. If you’re interested in finding out if you’re a good candidate for acupuncture to help relieve your allergy symptoms, call 615-939-2787 today, or click on this link.

Contact Affinity Acupuncture for Nashville Acupuncture treatments and techniques.

Trust Your Gut

Trust Your Gut

Trust Your Gut

In recent years, “gut health” has become a popular buzz phrase with scientists, physicians, and on social media. The idea isn’t new – Hippocrates once said that “all disease begins in the gut.” Improving digestive health has been a foundational ethos of Ayurvedic and Traditional Chinese Medicine for thousands of years. As a society, we’ve strayed from prioritizing health and nutrition over convenience, and are seeing the ramifications in increased obesity, heart disease, and other ailments that weren’t as prevalent before processed foods became a mainstay in our diets.

So why does the gut matter? Does having a drive-thru meal once a week really make that much of a difference? Your immune system, mood, sleep, digestion, heart, and brain all say yes.

Over the next few months, we’ll be looking at why gut health is important, and the roles of some of the unsung heroes of the digestive system.

 

Why it Matters

 

More than 100 trillion bacteria live in the gut.
That’s not a typo. There are more bacteria than human cells in the human body. Gut bacteria help our esophagus, stomach, and intestines work together to comfortably digest foods. When the biome is thrown off, it can lead to heartburn, bloating, constipation, nausea, and loose stools. The little bacteria can’t ward off infection or communicate well with the brain through nerves and hormones.

Roughly 70% of the immune system (by weight) lives in the digestive tract.
Without getting too technical, the Gut Associated Lymphoid Tissue (GALT) is the largest mass of lymphoid tissue in the body, and helps protect the body from infection in the gut. The gut’s mucosal surface is thin – it to be in order to allow food absorption. That also means that it’s vulnerable to infection. GALT helps protect the body from a large population of plasma cells (which produce antibodies) – larger than the spleen, lymph nodes, and bone marrow combined.

90-95% of serotonin (the body’s mood boosting chemical) is produced in the gut.
You read that right. You’re probably familiar with serotonin as a brain neurotransmitter, right? A recent Caltech study shows that certain bacteria in the guy play a pivotal role in serotonin production. The foods we eat impact our moods beyond what we refer to as “comfort food.”

Up to 90% of diseases can be traced back to the gut microbiome.
An estimated 70 million Americans have digestive diseases, and almost 1 in 5 have IBS. Those little bacteria strengthen the digestive tract’s wall, protecting us from pathogens. When the pathogens get through, it leads to inflammation and digestive disorders.

 

Help a Gut out Already

 

There are some easy things you can do to help give your gut a break (while avoiding any allergens):
1) Eat a variety of whole grains and legumes
2) Minimize eating out
3) Stop eating when you’re full
4) Eat fresh fruit and vegetables every day
5) Have a handful of nuts each day
6) Drink lots of water
7) Avoid artificial sweeteners and minimize candies and confections
8) Keep a food diary. If you get heartburn, feel bloated, or experience other digestive distress after eating certain foods, try eliminating or minimizing them in your diet.
9) Get some exercise
10) Sleep
11) Be careful with antibiotics. If you need them, add yogurt to your diet for the duration of the prescription.

Contact Affinity Acupuncture for Nashville Acupuncture treatments and techniques.

 

Find Acupuncture in Nashville

Find Acupuncture in Nashville

Have you been curious about the benefits of acupuncture but haven’t had the opportunity to give it a try? Or, have you been looking for that perfect acupuncturist in Nashville to address specific issues?

There are many reasons to seek the services of a qualified acupuncturist. The list of benefits is long, the process is relaxing, and our Brentwood location is easily accessible for our Nashville patients.

But what exactly do you stand to gain from visiting Affinity Acupuncture?

Relaxation

Acupuncture is done in a quiet room. You will be asked to lie on a table as the acupuncturist addresses your specific needs. This is performed through manipulation of the body’s natural acupressure points. This process releases endorphins as well as opens up the body’s natural pathways.

Acupuncture leaves the patient in a state of relaxation. Many people find the experience akin to meditation and leave the office in a state of calm. Visiting an acupuncturist can provide a number of benefits but the most immediately apparent will be the way you feel during and after a session.

Visit Affinity Acupuncture in Berry Hill for your Nashville acupuncture needs!

Pain Relief

Acupuncture has been used as a means of pain management for a very long time. In fact, acupuncture has been practiced for over 3,500 years. The staying power has as much to do with positive aspects as tradition.

Acupuncture is used to treat numerous types of chronic pain. This includes back pain, abdominal pain, facial pain, and a variety of others. Affinity Acupuncture will work with you in Nashville to address your personal issues in the most effective means possible.

Nutritional Guidance

The foods we eat have a massive effect on how we feel. Quite literally, everything you eat is used to create your body tissues and to power your body’s functions. The foods we eat have been used to combat illness for thousands of years.

Affinity Acupuncture will work with you to figure out your nutrition goals. A plan will then be put in place for a realistic path toward achieving these goals. Follow up visits will track progress and adjust any methods or recommendations as needed to account for new challenges and changing goals.

Women’s Health

There are a number of aspects related to the health of a woman that require special attention. Different phases of life bring changes and considerations that need to be made to preserve the comfort and well-being of a woman.

Menopause is frequently viewed with apprehension and fear. However, it doesn’t need to be as bad as some people might say. Mood swings, headaches, night sweats, hot flashes — these symptoms can be managed and mitigated. Attention to diet, acupuncture, and traditional Chinese medicine can be used to address these issues. In fact, only 10% of Chinese women experience these issues that commonly plague women in the west. Use of these methods quite likely plays a role in this.

Wrinkle Reduction

People are constantly in search of the next method of avoiding the effects of aging. One frequently used means of reducing the signs of aging is to reduce the appearance of wrinkles. Botox is commonly used with this in mind. However, many people don’t like the idea of injecting their face with a toxin. Affinity Acupuncture offers a much more natural means of addressing wrinkles.

Mei Zen Cosmetic Acupuncture is used as an alternative to Botox. Our patients see positive changes over the course of a five-week treatment plan. It can lead to the reduction (and sometimes the disappearance) of fine lines. Smoother cheeks, softer skin, and faded age spots are all possible benefits of Mei Zen Cosmetic Acupuncture.

Traditional Chinese Medicine

The oldest medical textbook in the world is over 4,700 years old: the Huang Di Nei Jing or Yellow Emperor’s Classic of Internal Medicine. Chinese medicine incorporates the various fields of acupuncture, herbal medicine, cupping, exercise, nutrition, and lifestyle counseling. These focuses are rooted in the Taoist philosophy of change, growth, and harmony.

Affinity Acupuncture will meet with you to discuss your goals through traditional Chinese medicine. What are you looking to gain? What would you like to address? This conversation will inform the techniques used to restore your health.

Gastrointestinal Relief

Gastrointestinal disorders can be incredibly uncomfortable. Constipation, diarrhea, spastic colitis, gas — these symptoms can have a consistent negative impact on our lives. Acupuncture and Chinese medicine have been shown to provide relief from GI discomfort.

The World Health Organization has proven through controlled clinical trials acupuncture to be an effective treatment for various gastrointestinal issues. Affinity Acupuncture can work with you to find treatments for your GI problems.

Contact Affinity Acupuncture today for Nashville Acupuncture treatments and appointments!