Acupuncture facilitates relaxation throughout the body, reduces pain, and promotes faster healing. Comprehensive acupuncture approaches include traditional Chinese acupuncture, electro-acupuncture, and dry needling.
Acupuncture is an ancient practice of inserting very small filiform needles (don't inject fluid) into specific body points to stimulate a healing response or manage pain. Although this has been a predominant treatment in Chinese medicine for thousands of years, it's still in its infancy in Western medicine. However, the success of acupuncture is reflected in just how popular it has become. There are now dozens of medical acupuncture textbooks, hundreds of research papers, and a foundation for Western medical acupuncture.
Acupuncture is one of the most common forms of treatment in Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM). The theory, according to TCM, is that acupuncture balances energy systems within the body. Throughout Asia, there is a concept that the body has a 'life force' or 'vital energy' that flows within. This energy is responsible for optimal health and healing. The Chinese call this life force Chi, in Japan, it is called Qi, and in Sanskrit, it is called Prana.
It is taught in TCM that the stimulation of acupuncture points can help with the flow of this force by stimulating or even redirecting its flow. When the correct points are stimulated, the body is more optimally regulated, allowing improved health and healing.
Western medical acupuncture and traditional Chinese acupuncture appear similar at first glance. However, there are some differences in the philosophy of how it works. Whereas Chinese medicine talks about energy and life force, western medicine talks about nervous system reflexes and rejuvenating tissues.
O’Guin Wellness chiropractors provide acupuncture, electro-acupuncture, and dry needling for pain relief and to promote a rejuvenating healing response in tissues. When used in conjunction with other manual therapies, such as chiropractic adjustments, acupuncture can help facilitate a faster recovery.
Acupuncture needle insertion activates nerve receptors in the skin and muscles that then cause a release of the body's natural pain relievers, such as endorphins and enkephalins. There are also chronic pain reflex pathways that can be turned off using acupuncture stimulation.
Functional MRI studies show that pain centers in the brain become less activated after acupuncture sessions. The use of electroacupuncture using a microcurrent stimulator is especially beneficial for pain relief.
Acupuncture speeds up the healing of injuries by enhancing the regeneration process. The needles are tiny enough that they do not cause pain. However, they trick the body into initiating its natural healing response. The microtrauma caused by acupuncture stimulates an increased response of red and white blood cells. Additionally, it's theorized to rejuvenate and repair tissues at the cellular level.
Dry needling is a modern acupuncture technique that focuses specifically on trigger points (contraction in a small portion of muscle fibers). Trigger points occur precisely where tiny nerve endings communicate with the muscle. Dry needling uses acupuncture needles to stimulate and reflexively relax where the nerve and muscles meet, decreasing tension and pain.
It has been my observation that acupuncture helps some people reach deep levels of relaxation, similar to meditation. They turn their attention inward, becoming more in tune with their body. This relaxation and body awareness level is a crucial step in any healing process.
Body awareness is also a vital component of rehabilitation. Becoming more aware of a specific part of the body allows more coordination and control of that area. In a sense, it wakes that area up and enables it to be fully functional again.
Combining massage therapy with acupuncture is preferred by some for their synergistic healing effects. Alternating sessions of myofascial release and electro-acupuncture is an especially effective way to provide pain management and enhance results.
Acupuncture is a time-tested solution that offers pain relief for low back pain and sciatica. It's a perfect option for anyone looking for a natural and holistic approach to pain management. Evidence supports the use of electro-acupuncture in combination with other therapies, such as spinal decompression, chiropractic adjustments, and physical therapy for sciatica and lower back pain.
Acupuncture involves the insertion of thin needles into specific points on the body, aiming to promote healing. It's increasingly recognized as an effective treatment for migraines and headaches, offering a holistic approach to pain management. By stimulating certain points, acupuncture can alleviate the intensity and frequency of migraines and tension-type headaches, providing relief where conventional medicine may fall short. Additionally, it's often praised for its minimal side effects and ability to improve overall well-being, making it a favorable option for many sufferers of chronic headaches.
Acupuncture is an effective and non-invasive pain management strategy for knee pain and arthritis. Thin needles inserted into specific acupuncture points stimulate important small nerve bundles that relieve pain, reduce swelling, and promote healing. In addition to relieving pain, many people experience an improved range of motion and a greater ability to perform corrective physical therapy stretches and exercises.
For neck pain and pinched nerves, acupuncture stimulates nerves, muscles, and connective tissue, potentially boosting the body's natural painkillers and increasing blood flow. This technique can aid in reducing inflammation and muscle stiffness associated with neck pain and pinched nerves, providing a non-invasive and holistic approach to pain relief. Many patients find acupuncture to be a soothing and effective treatment, often experiencing relief after a series of sessions.
Acupuncture, when used along with other therapies, helps to relax jaw tension and reduce pain associated with TMJ (temporomandibular joint) disorder. In the case of TMJ, acupuncture focuses on points around the jaw, ears, and even distant points that are believed to influence the health and function of the temporomandibular joint. In addition to pain management, acupuncture for TMJD can be used as a strategy for managing stress, which is frequently associated with jaw and neck tension.
We approach acupuncture with a comprehensive understanding of the variety of ways it can work. Our chiropractors in St. Louis offer dry needling for trigger points causing myofascial pain. However, we also perform acupuncture to enhance healing and facilitate relaxation. In addition to acupuncture and dry needling, we combine alternative therapies such as myofascial release, chiropractic adjustments, stretching, and physical therapy. Having a variety of treatment options is the best way to ensure the best results.
Whether you're a new patient looking for answers and solutions to a complicated condition, or just need a chiropractic adjustment, our office can help. Our chiropractors can help no matter if you are recovering from an injury or are experiencing chronic back pain or neck pain, so call O'Guin Wellness today!
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