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 Berry Hill location is easily accessible for our Nashville patients.
But what exactly do you stand to gain from visiting Affinity Acupuncture?
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 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 to set up an appointment in Nashville today!
Traditional Chinese medicine describes acupuncture as a means of balancing energy that flows through pathways within your body. This is done through the insertion of very small needles at strategic points on the patient’s body. It is generally used to treat pain although it can also be used to treat mental health issues like the management of stress.
This practice has been around for over 4,000 years. Acupuncture has remained a steady source of treatment since then, although it has gone through some changes throughout the years. The same basic concept has remained the same, however. And whether you’re seeking acupuncture for neck pain, fertility, or any of the other positive outcomes you can visit Affinity Acupuncture for help in Nashville.
Let’s look into the specifics of acupuncture to see how we can benefit from it.
Are you interested in seeing what acupuncture can do for you? Visit Affinity Acupuncture to set up an appointment today.
How it Works
The systems by which acupuncture affects the patient differs depending on who you ask. The traditional Chinese interpretation is based around energy.
The energy inside your body is referred to as qi (pronounced “chee”). This qi travels throughout your body by way of 12 separate pathways, known as meridians. And although these meridians don’t follow similar pathways of blood flow and nerves, they do represent the major organs as well as the functions of the body.
Our bodies contain competing energy flows, known as the yin and the yang. These make up our qi. And it is the harmonious congruence of these two forces that keep our bodies in good health and make us feel better. An improper balance of these forces is what leads to illnesses.
There are 361 points on our bodies that can manipulate the flow of our qi. Strategic placement of tiny needles helps direct our energy in the appropriate way to balance out our yin and yang, resulting in a more well-balanced qi.
Western scientists have further studied acupuncture and come up with other theories as to why it works. The first theory is that acupuncture works by stimulating neurohormonal pathways. The needle effectively stimulates a nerve in the patient’s body. The nerve sends a signal to the brain which releases hormones such as endorphins, which promote good feelings in the body which increases the pain threshold.
Another theory is that acupuncture reduces proteins in the body that promote inflammation. This reduction in inflammation is linked to a reduction in pain.
Yet another theory relates directly to acupuncture’s positive effects on nerve damage. It says that insertion of the needle stimulates the brain to secrete a factor that stimulates nerve growth, effectively re-growing the damaged nerve.
But whether you subscribe to the eastern or western explanation of why acupuncture works, the benefits are all the same. But what can acupuncture be used to treat?
What It Treats
Acupuncture is used to treat a number of various conditions. Most notably, it is used to assist in general health, sleep, and digestion. It reduces stress, inflammation, blood pressure, and cholesterol. Acupuncture also increases fertility and energy.
Acupuncture has been proven through clinical trials to be an effective treatment for the following:
Dysentery, acute bacillary
Induction of labor
Low back pain
Malposition of fetus, correction of
Nausea and vomiting
Pain in dentistry
Periarthritis of shoulder
These and other conditions have shown positive effects from acupuncture treatment.
What to Expect
Many people feel somewhat lethargic after an acupuncture appointment. This is commonly related to a feeling of deep relaxation. However, treatments affect everyone a little differently. In fact, some people feel energetic from a quick boost of adrenaline after the appointment.
It’s generally recommended to continue seeking relaxing atmospheres after an acupuncture session. Find a quiet place to sit down or even go for a massage. This is a healing process so more the more time you give yourself to take it easy, the better your chances become of experiencing the benefits of the treatment.
Try It for Yourself
The best way to learn about the benefits of acupuncture is to try it firsthand. Those in the Nashville area interested in acupuncture for neck pain, fertility, or any other ailment should visit Affinity Acupuncture.
Affinity Acupuncture serves both the Nashville and Franklin areas. Visit us today to set up an appointment.
Acupuncture is a relaxing experience. However, new patients might feel a little anxious before their first visit. There are a lot of unknowns and misconceptions about acupuncture. But going for acupuncture treatment in Nashville doesn’t need to make you nervous. Acupuncture is calming, relaxing, and can soothe many sources of aches and pains. Here is what you can expect on your first visit, so you’re anxiety over the treatment can be replaced with excitement.
There are a few things you can do to set your first acupuncture treatment up for success. This preparation starts hours before you even show up for your appointment. The first thing you can do is avoid coffee and alcohol. These stimulants can cloud your mind when one of the goals of acupuncture is awareness. This effectively walks the benefits backwards before you even start.
Be sure you wear loose and comfortable clothing. This makes it easier for the acupuncturist to place the needles where they need to go. Proper placement is essential to the success of treatment. You want to be able to relax and worrying about clothing will take your mind away from one of the major benefits of being there in the first place.
Don’t show up to your appointment with a full stomach. At the same time, don’t show up hungry. An empty stomach can leave patients feeling light-headed and dizzy after an appointment. You’ll want to eat some food before coming in, just don’t go overboard. Eat a meal maybe two hours before going in. But if you’re unsure, err on the side of eating as opposed to not eating.
Finally, you’ll want to show up at your appointment early. Give yourself at least fifteen minutes to fill out some paperwork.
Ready to give acupuncture treatment a try in Nashville? Contact Affinity Acupuncture and make your appointment today!
During the Treatment
Acupuncture treatment is like going to the doctor’s office, but more relaxing. It might help to frame your experience like this. Expect to be asked questions about your medical history and current symptoms of anything you’d like to be addressed. You should also expect the acupuncturist to give you a short examination and to assess your general health. This information will help the acupuncturist tailor your treatment to you specific needs.
After the initial examination and health assessment, you’ll be asked to lie down. Soft music might be played, the lights will be dimmed, the whole experience is curated to instill a calming mood in the room.
Many people are afraid of needles. Getting their blood drawn or receiving shots make them tense up and grow anxious. These people might be afraid of experiencing acupuncture because of this fear. But the needles used in a doctor’s office are much different from those used in acupuncture. For one thing, acupuncture needles are much smaller than those used for vaccines. These smaller needles make far less impact with the body while also remaining near the surface. They aren’t inserted as far as the needles you might be used to.
Another concern is that of hygiene. But again, this concern doesn’t need to exist. The needles used for acupuncture treatments are sterilized and disposable. This means they are discarded after they are used. The needles used in your first treatment with be the first treatment for the needles, as well.
The acupuncturist will ask you to lie down and get comfortable. They will then insert about ten needles in strategic spots. These needles will remain in place between twenty and thirty minutes. This process can be repeated at the acupuncturist’s discretion.
Much like before your acupuncture appointment, there are a few things you can do to get the most from your treatment. The session itself should have been relaxing and restful, and it’s recommended you try to elongate that feeling as much as possible. Following acupuncture with massage is a great way to give your body and mind the time to process the treatment. If that’s not possible, simply allowing yourself to relax for a couple hours after the appointment works as well.
As before the appointment, avoiding alcohol and caffeine afterwards is recommended. You want to remain mindful and present and these substances will only dull your awareness. Likewise, they will dehydrate you. Remaining hydrated, while good practice all the time, is important after an acupuncture treatment.
Maintain healthy eating practices to avoid introducing toxins to your body. Again, this is a good practice to maintain all the time. But this will help maximize the benefits of your acupuncture treatment.
As far as side effects from the treatments go, the most you can expect is some slight bruising. But if you have some soreness or pain from anything else you should avoid using ice packs and cold treatments. Instead, use heating packs to soothe any soreness.
Schedule an Appointment Today!
Are you looking for acupuncture treatment in Nashville? Visit Affinity Acupuncture to see how they can help you today.
Why Doctors Approve Acupuncture For Medical Ailments Treatment
The American College of Physicians formally recommends acupuncture for the treatment of back pain. Published in the prestigious Annals of Internal Medicine, clinical guidelines were developed by the American College of Physicians (ACP) to present recommendations based on evidence. Citing quality evidence in modern research, the ACP notes that nonpharmacologic treatment with acupuncture for the treatment of chronic low back pain is recommended. The official grade by the ACP is a “strong recommendation.” 
The Medical Goal of Acupuncture
A major goal of the recommendation is for acupuncture and other nonpharmacological therapies to replace drug therapy as a primary source of pain relief. Treatment with opioids is only recommended, with an official “weak recommendation,” when other modalities do not provide adequate relief. A strong recommendation is also made by the American College of Physicians for the treatment of both acute and subacute lower back pain with heat, massage, acupuncture, and spinal manipulation.  The recommendations were approved by the ACP Board of Regents and involves evidence based recommendations from doctors at the Penn Health System (Philadelphia, Pennsylvania), Minneapolis Veterans Affairs Medical Center (Minnesota), and the Yale School of Medicine (New Haven, Connecticut).
The American College of Physicians notes that approximately 25% of USA adults have had, at the very minimum, a one day lower back pain episode within the past three months. The socioeconomic impact of lower back pain in the USA was approximately $100 billion in the year 2006 . The costs include medical care and indirect costs due to lost wages and declines in productivity.  Recommendations for treatment options, including those for the use of acupuncture, include considerations of positive medical patient outcomes, the total number of back pain episodes, duration between episodes, alleviation of lower back pain, improvement in function of the back, and work disability reductions. Recommendations are for both radicular and nonradicular lower back pain.
The target audience for the American College of Physicians recommendations includes all doctors, other clinicians, and the adult population with lower back pain. The ACP notes, “Moderate-quality evidence showed that acupuncture was associated with moderately lower pain intensity and improved function compared with no acupuncture at the end of treatment .”  In agreement, the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (National Institutes of Health) notes that acupuncture is an effective treatment modality for the relief of chronic lower back pain. 
These findings are consistent with those published in Mayo Clinic proceedings finding that acupuncture is effective for the treatment of lower back pain. The same Mayo Clinic report notes that acupuncture does not cause any significant adverse effects.  The Mayo Clinic findings apply to both nociceptive and non-nociceptive pain. Nociceptive back pain includes musculoskeletal inflammation and pain involving nerve cells wherein nociceptors are activated. Nociceptors are afferent neurons in the skin, muscles, joints, and other areas. For example, nerve impingement (often referred to as a “pinched nerve”) produces one type of nociceptive pain.
Non-nociceptive pain does not involve inflammation and is more relevant to pain processing in the central nervous system. One type of non-nociceptive pain condition is fibromyalgia and acupuncture has been confirmed as an effective treatment modality for this condition. The Mayo Clinic proceedings note, “Martin et al. found a significant improvement between electroacupuncture vs sham electroacupuncture. Differences were seen on the Fibromyalgia Impact Questionnaire (FIQ) scores for fatigue and anxiety.” 
The Mayo Clinic and American College of Physicians findings are consistent with additional quality research. Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center (New York) and University of York (United Kingdom) researchers note “We have provided the most robust evidence from high-quality trials on acupuncture for chronic pain. The synthesis of high-quality IPD found that acupuncture was more effective than both usual care and sham acupuncture. Acupuncture is one of the more clinically effective physical therapies for osteoarthritis and is also cost-effective if only high-quality trials are analysed.” 
Doctors understand the true need for effective pain management. Nonpharmacological solutions are important for a variety of reasons including prevention of addiction, effective relief of pain, and prevention of adverse effects. This is often of heightened concern during pregnancy and for children. As a result, university hospitals integrate acupuncture into usual care settings to improve patient outcomes. For example, pediatric doctors at the UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital San Francisco provide acupuncture to children, including non-needle laser acupuncture. At the University of California hospital, acupuncture is made available for both inpatients and outpatients. Dr. Kim notes that acupuncture reduces nausea up to 70%. She adds that acupuncture is also effective for significant reductions in post-surgical pain and chronic headaches. 
Recently, researchers have discovered how acupuncture stops pain and provides other forms of relief for patients. Breakthrough research conducted by University of South Florida (Tampa) and Fujian University of Traditional Chinese Medicine (Fuzhou) researchers documents how acupuncture stops pain. The researchers note, “acupuncture exerts a remarkable analgesic effect on SCI [spinal cord injury] by also inhibiting production of microglial cells through attenuation of p38MAPK and ERK activation.” 
Microglia are central nervous system immunity cells that secrete proinflammatory and neurotoxic mediators. Acupuncture reduces pain by attenuating this response. The researchers also document that acupuncture provides neuroprotection. The researchers note that acupuncture prevents brain damage in the hippocampus by “preventing microglial activation.” The University of South Florida members of the research team were from the Department of Neurosurgery and Brain Repair and the Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences. Funding was provided by the United States Department of Defense, University of South Florida Neurosurgery and Brain Repair, and the James and Esther King Biomedical Research Foundation.
The aforementioned research reveals an important biochemical mechanism involved in acupuncture’s ability to alleviate pain and reduce harmful inflammation. Researchers focus on other mechanisms activated by administration of acupuncture treatments. For example, laboratory investigations reveal how acupuncture regulates blood pressure.
University of California (Irvine) researchers find acupuncture effective for the treatment of high blood pressure. In a controlled laboratory study, University of California researchers have proven that electroacupuncture at acupoint ST36 (Zusanli) promotes enkephalin production, which dampens proinflammatory excitatory responses from the sympathetic nervous system that cause hypertension. Specifically, electroacupuncture regulates preproenkephalin gene expression, a precursor substance that encodes proenkephalin, which then stimulates the production of enkephalin. 
The formal recommendation for the use of acupuncture in cases of lower back pain by the American College of Physicians is based on modern research. Mayo Clinic findings and research from the Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center (New York) and the University of York support this recommendation. In response to the needs of patients, doctors have already implemented acupuncture into several hospitals throughout the USA and both inpatient and outpatient acupuncture treatments are available.
Now, modern scientific investigations reveal how acupuncture works. University of South Florida and Fujian University of Traditional Chinese Medicine researchers confirm acupuncture’s ability to attenuate microglial activation. University of California researchers have quantified acupuncture’s ability to control inflammation by regulating enkephalins. In addition, the NCCAOM (National Certification Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine) provides professional certification for acupuncturists, which ensures standards of excellence for licensed acupuncturists. Given the large body of supportive research and the administrative support for providing safe and effective acupuncture to the general public, expect to see greater implementation of acupuncture into usual care settings.
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