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

Unlocking Relief: How Acupuncture Offers Hope for Chronic Pain Management

Unlocking Relief: How Acupuncture Offers Hope for Chronic Pain Management

In an age where chronic pain emerges as a complex challenge for millions globally, acupuncture stands out as a beacon of hope, blending centuries-old wisdom with contemporary scientific validation. This traditional Chinese medicine technique, known for the strategic insertion of thin needles into the skin, has been widely recognized for its potential to unlock the body’s natural healing mechanisms, offering a path to relief for those grappling with persistent pain.

Life after getting acupuncture to manage chronic pain.

Understanding Acupuncture’s Healing Power
Acupuncture’s principle lies in its ability to stimulate the body’s natural painkillers and enhance blood flow, thereby providing relief from various forms of chronic pain. The practice is believed to activate the release of endorphins—nature’s pain-relieving chemicals—and to influence brain regions responsible for serotonin production, potentially altering pain perception.

The Solid Foundation of Scientific Support
The efficacy of acupuncture in managing chronic pain is not just anecdotal. A pivotal 2012 meta-analysis in the “Archives of Internal Medicine,” involving nearly 18,000 participants, unveiled that acupuncture significantly outperforms sham treatments and no treatment in mitigating chronic pain. This compelling evidence positions acupuncture as a credible referral option for those enduring chronic pain conditions.

Further research, including a 2020 study published in the “Journal of Pain,” has reinforced acupuncture’s role in diminishing pain intensity, boosting functional mobility, and enhancing the overall quality of life for individuals facing chronic pain challenges. These findings underscore acupuncture’s integral place within a holistic treatment regimen for chronic pain management.

Tailored Treatment for Diverse Pain Conditions
Whether it’s the debilitating discomfort of lower back pain, the stiffness and ache of osteoarthritis in the knees, or the recurrent throes of migraines, acupuncture has been endorsed by esteemed bodies like the “American Pain Society” and the “American College of Physicians” as a viable treatment option. Its ability to cater to a broad spectrum of pain conditions highlights the versatility and effectiveness of acupuncture in pain relief endeavors.

Your Next Step Towards a Pain-free Life
Recognizing acupuncture’s potential means turning to trusted, skilled practitioners who can guide your journey to wellness with care and precision. If you’re seeking a holistic approach to manage chronic pain, look no further than Affinity Acupuncture.

Ready to embark on a journey towards healing and relief from chronic pain? Visit Affinity Acupuncture & Integrative Medicine for expert care tailored to your unique needs. Our team of licensed practitioners is dedicated to helping you achieve your wellness goals through personalized acupuncture treatments.

Don’t let chronic pain hold you back any longer. Contact Affinity Acupuncture & Integrative Medicine today at 615-939-2787 and discover how acupuncture can transform your approach to managing chronic pain, paving the way for a healthier, more vibrant life.

 

Benefits of Acupuncture

Benefits of Acupuncture

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:

  • Allergic rhinitis

  • Biliary colic

  • Depression

  • Dysentery, acute bacillary

  • Dysmenorrhea, primary

  • Epigastralgia, acute

  • Facial pain

  • Headache

  • Hypertension, essential

  • Hypotension, primary

  • Induction of labor

  • Knee pain

  • Leukopenia

  • Low back pain

  • Malposition of fetus, correction of

  • Morning sickness

  • Nausea and vomiting

  • Neck pain

  • Pain in dentistry

  • Periarthritis of shoulder

  • Postoperative pain

  • Renal colic

  • Rheumatoid arthritis

  • Sciatica

  • Sprain

  • Stroke

  • Tennis Elbow

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 for Chronic Pain

Acupuncture for Chronic Pain

Chronic pain in the muscles and joints can make life miserable. Standard treatments like ice and heat, anti-inflammatory medications, physical therapy, and appropriate exercises can often ease the pain. But when they don’t, acupuncture is an option with a good track record that’s worth considering.

Over the years there has been substantial debate about whether acupuncture really works for chronic pain. Research from an international team of experts adds to the evidence that it does provide real relief from common forms of pain. The team pooled the results of 29 studies involving nearly 18,000 participants. Some had acupuncture, some had “sham” acupuncture, and some didn’t have acupuncture at all. Overall, acupuncture relieved pain by about 50%. The results were published in Archives of Internal Medicine.

The study isn’t the last word on the issue, but it is one of the best quality studies to date and has made an impression.

“I think the benefit of acupuncture is clear, and the complications and potential adverse effects of acupuncture are low compared with medication,” says Dr. Lucy Chen, a board-certified anesthesiologist, specialist in pain medicine, and practicing acupuncturist at Harvard-affiliated Massachusetts General Hospital.

It Works for Acute Pain, Too

It Works for Acute Pain, Too

Kids are petri dishes. Cute, cuddly, giggly petri dishes. When one of them gets sick, I know it’s not a question of if I’ll catch it, but when. No matter how good we are at self-care, our bodies are vulnerable to illness. 

There’s a legend about an acupuncturist in a village in China. The local villagers would pay him for regular visits as preventative care. When one of them got sick, he would treat them for free.  He held the philosophy that if he did his job right, the villagers would stay healthy. 

Preventative care is a buzz phrase that we’re hearing more and more, but few people have the discipline to maintain a good routine. Life gets busy, and it’s easy to push self-care to the side until the body goes into crisis mode. It happens to practitioners, too. 

Last week, the twins (AKA junior associates) get sick and were kind enough to share the germs with me.  It seems as though my cold has morphed into a sinus infection with ear pressure so intense that only constant pressure applied to certain acupuncture points is bringing any relief. Ten minutes ago I was kicking couch cushions in pain and frustration. Now, I have a bead under a bandage applying constant pressure to the right point. William has a full day of clients, and I’ve asked him to bring needles home to do one more treatment before the day is done. 

My point is this: we don’t have to live in pain and discomfort. We don’t have to pop pills for relief. The body is amazing, and has a wonderful capacity to heal. Traumas create blockages, and acupuncture is an incredibly effective way to open that up. I know that William can relieve my acute sinus pressure in a matter of minutes, and my attention shifts from being angry at my body for hurting to being amazed by the powerful impact of acupuncture. I know that chronic conditions take more time and attention to get lasting relief. But the potential is there. 

Don’t miss out on the fun of the upcoming holidays by falling sick. Take care of yourselves and each other, and I strongly urge you to incorporate acupuncture into your wellness routine as a preventative measure. Call 615-939-2787 to learn more