Acupuncture involves the insertion of very thin needles through your skin at strategic points on your body. A key component of traditional Chinese medicine, acupuncture is most commonly used to treat pain. Increasingly, it is being used for overall wellness, including stress management.
Acupuncture points double as points to stimulate nerves, muscles, and connective tissue. This stimulation may help your body to release natural endorphins, thus reducing stress and pain.
Pain can begin when we least expect it; from sports injuries to auto or work-related accidents to the wear and tear that everyday life can have on our bodies. No matter how your pain started, Dr. Linn can help. Dr. Linn takes the time to perform a full history and detailed physical exam to find the cause of your pain. By finding the cause she then develops a treatment plan specifically catered to you to help get you back on track. No one should have to live with pain.
Acupuncture is a Traditional Chinese Medicine technique that has been utilized for thousands of years. It is the belief that energy (known as Qi), flows throughout our bodies via channels (known as meridians). There are 20 different channels, 12 standard, and 8 extraordinary channels, that run throughout our bodies. There are about 400 points specific points located along these channels. Traditional Chinese Medicine believes that disease is present when there is an imbalance of Qi (not enough, too much, or a blockage). Acupuncture uses sterile, thin needles to stimulate specific points along the channels (meridians) to help balance the body’s energy.
Recent studies suggest that acupuncture causes the brain to release pain-relieving hormones (serotonin, endorphins, and enkephalins); which makes acupuncture a great use for pain management. In addition, studies show that acupuncture can increase blood flow and stimulate immune cell production which is vital to the bodies healing process. Acupuncture has been shown to help manage a variety of conditions including back pain, neck pain, tendonitis, migraines, carpal tunnel, PMS, fibromyalgia, arthritis, sinusitis, stress reduction, and many more. Acupuncture has also been used to help people quit smoking and aid in weight loss. In addition, the World Health Organization recognizes the use of acupuncture of the treatment of over 90 symptoms/conditions.
DOES ACUPUNCTURE HURT?
One question on many people's minds is does it hurt? When we think of the term “needle” we tend to associate it with getting a shot. Acupuncture needles, however, are much different from the needles used in an injection. First, acupuncture needles are significantly thinner. Second, acupuncture needles are solid and do not tear or rip the skin. Therefore, acupuncture is not the same as getting a shot. Most patients do not feel acupuncture needles.
What is Acupuncture Good for?
The benefits of acupuncture are complex. Research suggests that the needling process may produce a variety of effects in the body and the brain. One theory is that stimulated nerve fibers transmit signals to the spinal cord and brain, activating the body’s central nervous system. The spinal cord and brain then release hormones responsible for making us feel less pain while improving overall health. In fact, a study using images of the brain confirmed that acupuncture increases our pain threshold, which may explain why it produces long term pain relief. Acupuncture may also increase blood circulation and body temperature, affect white blood cell activity (responsible for our immune function), reduce cholesterol and triglyceride levels, and regulate blood sugar and hormone levels.
Acupuncture is particularly effective for pain relief, and chemotherapy-associated nausea and vomiting. In addition, both the World Health Organization and the National Institutes of Health recognize that acupuncture can be a helpful part of a treatment plan for many illnesses. A partial list includes addiction (such as alcoholism or drug abuse), asthma, bronchitis, carpal tunnel syndrome, constipation, diarrhea, facial tics, fibromyalgia, headaches, irregular menstrual cycles, polycystic ovarian syndrome, low back pain, menopausal symptoms, menstrual cramps, osteoarthritis, sinusitis, spastic colon (often called irritable bowel syndrome), tendonitis, tennis elbow, and urinary problems such as incontinence. You can safely combine acupuncture with prescription drugs and chiropractic care.
The American Academy of Medical Acupuncture also lists a wide range of conditions for which acupuncture is appropriate. In addition to those listed above, they recommend acupuncture for sports injuries, sprains, strains, whiplash, neck pain, sciatica, nerve pain due to compression, overuse syndromes similar to carpal tunnel syndrome, pain resulting from spinal cord injuries, allergies, tinnitus (ringing in the ears), sore throat (called pharyngitis), high blood pressure, gastroesophageal reflux (felt as heartburn or indigestion), ulcers, chronic and recurrent bladder and kidney infections, premenstrual syndrome (PMS), infertility, endometriosis, memory problems, insomnia, multiple sclerosis, sensory disturbances, depression, anxiety, and other psychological disorders.
Another major question arise about acupuncture, is it safe? As a natural alternative therapy, acupuncture is very safe. Very few complications from acupuncture have been reported to the FDA compared to the millions of people who have been treated with acupuncture each year. Most of the complications are caused by inadequate sterilization and not following clean needle technique protocol.
Acupuncture for weight loss
Use acupuncture to help with weight loss! Did you know that Ear Acupuncture (also known as Auriculotherapy) can help with weight loss?
The ear is understood to be a microsystem of the entire body--in other words, the entire body is represented on the ear. That's why auriculotherapy is so versatile. It's especially powerful for weight loss when combined with a healthy diet and exercise.
Advocates of acupuncture for weight loss believe that acupuncture can stimulate the body’s energy flow (chi) to impact factors that can reverse obesity such as:
Affecting the part of the brain that feels hunger
Weight gain, according to traditional Chinese medicine, is caused by body imbalance. That imbalance, according to ancient teachings, can be caused by a malfunctioning:
Weight gain, according to traditional Chinese medicine, is caused by body imbalance.
That imbalance, according to ancient teachings, can be caused by a malfunctioning:
So, for weight loss, acupuncture treatments commonly target these areas of the body.
Ear acupuncture for weight loss
The ear is another area that acupuncture practitioners target for weight loss. It’s believed that food cravings can be controlled by manipulating points on the ear. This is a similar treatment to that used by acupuncture practitioners to help smokers and drug users end their addictions.
How many sessions will I need?
Although different acupuncture practitioners recommend different levels and lengths of treatment, if you plan on losing 10 to 15 pounds, having several treatments a week for six to eight weeks is a common program.
The number of visits each week might taper off as the program progresses. The number of visits recommended will also vary from one acupuncture practitioner to another.
Want to Quit Smoking?
Acupuncture Can Help You With Cravings
Quitting tobacco is one of the most important things you can do to improve your health. But the road to get there isn’t always easy. If you’re trying to quit smoking, acupuncture is a natural way to help you curb your nicotine cravings.
Acupuncture, along with Chinese herbs, may not be as well-known as nicotine patches or gum. Yet they all can offer relief, especially in the active phase of withdrawal when you’re wrestling with fatigue, irritability and gnawing cravings.
How does acupuncture to help quit smoking work?
Acupuncturists target certain areas of the body for certain conditions. When it comes to helping smokers quit, pressure points in the ears are especially effective in suppressing cravings. The National
Acupuncture Detoxification Association even has an entire protocol around this set of ear suppression points to combat addiction.
In between acupuncture treatments, you can also use ear seeds at home — which work as a form of acupressure. This involves placing tiny balls on your ear with adhesive tape in targeted areas. This
technique allows you to self-treat by applying pressure to points on the ear to help temper the urge to smoke.
“The cranial nerves, accessed through the ears, stimulate the nervous system to suppress the urge for cigarettes... “We’re trying not only to suppress cravings, but also to engage the relaxation response. We’re really manipulating the body using needles and targeted pressure to help support people as they work through withdrawal symptoms.
After acupuncture, you may have fewer cravings, decreased irritability, improved mood, improved bowel movements and improved sleep.
Will acupuncture help me quit smoking?
The goal of acupuncture is to help curb any cravings you have for the Cigarettes.
Acupuncture To Treat Infertility
Acupuncture is a type of alternative medicine. It’s originally from China, but is now practiced around the world. Acupuncture may provide some benefits to people experiencing infertility, especially when combined with traditional medicine.
Regulate hormonal imbalances
Increase blood flow to the uterus and ovaries
If you’re having in vitro fertilization or any other type of assistedreproductive technology, your acupuncturist and current physician should coordinate treatment. Acupuncture treatments are sometimes timed to coincide with embryo transfer during IVF.