Facilitates relaxation throughout the body, can reduce pain, and promote faster healing.
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.
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.
We approach acupuncture with a comprehensive understanding of the variety of ways it can work. Our chiropractors 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 rehabilitation. Having a variety of treatment options is the best way to ensure the best results.
Whether you're looking for answers and solutions to a complicated condition, or just need a body tune-up, our office can help.
We specialize in leading, non-invasive therapies that restore alignment, enhance movement, and promote healing.
Releases joint restrictions allowing for improved movements of the spine with less pain.
Gently creates more space within the spine taking pressure off disc bulges and pinched nerves.
Like a massage, but more specific to help with muscle pain/tension and fascia restrictions.
Develop resiliency by using the best exercises to get stronger and improve balance & agility.
An alternative method to massage that uses suction as a way to heal and relax muscle pain.