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.
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.
Fibromyalgia is a condition affecting an estimated 5.8 million Americans. Symptoms include but are not limited to chronic, widespread, and severe muscle pain; insomnia; fatigue; headaches; sensitivity to light, noise, and smells; dizziness; heart palpitations; skin rashes; and depression. It primarily affects women between the ages of 35-50.
There are no lab tests to confirm a fibromyalgia diagnosis, because it does not present evidence of damage to muscle and tissue. The generalized body pain and stiffness, along with severe fatigue, must last for at least three months for an official western diagnosis of fibromyalgia. Additionally, a test palpating 18 points is often used as a diagnostic tool. When at least 11 out of 18 points have pain or tenderness, it suggests fibromyalgia.
Western medicine often treats fibromyalgia with medications for depression and seep, and NSAIDs for pain.
Unfortunately, these medicines have adverse side effects, which can mimic fibromyalgia symptoms, when used for prolonged periods. These include headaches, nervousness, dizziness, fatigue, and sleeplessness. Additionally, the medications treat the symptoms as opposed to the underlying causes of fibromyalgia.
At Affinity Acupuncture, we have had many clients respond well to acupuncture treatments for fibromyalgia.
The insertion of very fine, sterile needles into specific points on the body promotes the body’s response to heal itself.
Increased and redirected blood flow loosens tight muscles, relieves pain and tension, and flushes out inflammation.
It also triggers certain hormones which promote sleep and relaxation, calm the mind and relieve stress.
While acupuncture can be effective, it is not an immediate cure. Most people see improvement after two or three weekly treatments, including increased energy and reduction of pain, insomnia, and depression.
Because every fibromyalgia sufferer experiences different symptoms, treatments are customized to the individual’s needs. Typically, three to 10 treatments are required depending on the severity of the condition, and the individual’s personal response to treatment. Over time, treatments are extended into a maintenance schedule. Specific diets and herbal formulas may also be recommended.
If you or someone you love is living with fibromyalgia, acupuncture may be a highly effective treatment. Call 615-939-2787 to learn more.
During our first three years, we have truly enjoyed working with so many in the Nashville area to achieve their health care goals. Every time a client leaves with less pain, or experiences better sleep or digestion, we remember exactly why we opened Affinity Acupuncture in the first place. We are thrilled with the great results that so many of you are getting with facial rejuvenation acupuncture, and look forward to celebrating with many more of you after successful fertility treatments. Your referrals and reviews honor us, and we look forward to many years to come.
For those of you curious about trying acupuncture or dry needling for the first time, we are offering a limited time Anniversary Special for new clients – just $49 for your first visit. We hope to help you reach the same success that so many others have found. Call us at 615-939-2787 with any questions that you have about acupuncture, and to schedule your first appointment. Be sure to mention this promotion when you do. We look forward to seeing you soon.
How to Choose The Right Needle Treatment: Traditional Acupuncture vs. Dry Needle Therapy
Have you ever wondered which approach is best for you – acupuncture or dry needling? Both offer substantial benefits, and are recommended for a variety of conditions.
Traditional Chinese Medicine Acupuncture treats a number of conditions from pain relief to sleep disorders to fertility to facial rejuvenation. The philosophy is that chronic or acute stress causes a blockage along the body’s meridians, and acupuncture needles are strategically placed along these meridians to relieve the blockages.
Trigger Point Dry Needling is primarily used for pain relief, and needles are applied at trigger points, engaging muscles and tissues at the site. It is becoming increasingly popular among professional athletes.
In the state of Tennessee, only a licensed acupuncturist can perform Dry Needling. Some other states allow physical therapists and other professionals to perform the technique, but don’t have as vigorous requirements for study and licensing as they do for Licensed Acupuncturists. Wherever you live, and whichever form of treatment you choose, select a licensed, qualified practitioner that you feel comfortable with. Open, honest dialogue is essential to effective treatment.
Affinity Acupuncture in Brentwood offers both Traditional Chinese Medicine Acupuncture and Trigger Point Dry Needling by a Licensed Acupuncturist. Whichever approach you choose, we can help you get to the point of the problem. Still wondering which approach might be best for you? Call us at 615-939-2787 today to set up a free consultation.