Acupuncture: How We Use It
Acupuncture is one of those therapies that a lot of people do not really know that I even perform. I decided that I should at least spend a little time discussing a bit of the education process and how we utilize it in our offices.
Acupuncture is based on ancient Chinese medicine and meridians with the understanding that there is an energy flow through your body with different organs and meridians affecting different aspects of the body and how this affects your overall health. Now, don’t get me wrong, I had to learn the meridians while in my course work and the different energy flows as did most chiropractors that took the acupuncture courses while they were in school.
Do we necessarily use the needles in this way, 90% of the time we do. There are specific points and meridians that are utilized to treat specific conditions. The ones that are used in our offices most commonly are for low back pain, headaches, sciatic type pains and specific joint type pain, you as the patient may not even realize that they are a meridian because they normally correlate to the pain areas.
Calls come in every once in a while to inquire if we treat conditions such as smoking cessation or infertility issues. I avoid these types of cases in regards to acupuncture. They can be very tricky and time consuming with somewhat mixed results. I very rarely will tackle conditions or problems that I am not comfortable with. There are doctors that practice acupuncture that will address these issues, but in our offices we avoid these things.
Patients will ask every once in a while, what is the difference in dry needling vs acupuncture. Philosophy is the main answer but it is essentially accomplishing the same thing in my mind. We use one time use, sterile needles that are disposed of after every patient, to treat everything from trigger points, tight muscles and nerve type pain with very good results.
This is a very safe and somewhat relaxing therapy that we offer. I use guide tubes, so the only real thing that you feel on a consistent basis is the guide tube being pushed against the skin. The points that we use don’t change all that much and a lot of times we add in electric stimulation as a therapy, just so you as the patient actually “feel” something for the 15-20 minutes that you are waiting.
While I cannot guarantee that acupuncture will help everyone that walks in the office, it is the one therapy that we offer that we encourage people to return for multiple treatments as one treatment is rarely enough to do much of a difference. Patients generally know within a visit or two if it is going to be beneficial for them and their condition.
Insurance does not normally cover acupuncture, so it is a cash service but for some patients it’s the best money you can spend as it can speed up the healing process in numerous conditions. If you or someone you know would like to try this as a treatment, let the office know and we can discuss options to see if acupuncture is the therapy you have been missing.