In Traditional Chinese Medicine, “When there is obstruction, there is pain” is the common pathology that is triggered by the different causes of pain. Acupuncture, among the oldest healing practices in the world, is part of traditional Chinese medicine. To relieve pain, acupuncture practitioners stimulate specific points from affected meridians — pathway where Qi (vital energy) travels through. In response to the stimulations to acupuncture points, the body releases endorphins and activates an immune response. The application of acupuncture for pain relief provides a drug-free method to minimize pain. A special analysis of acupuncture data from an earlier NHIS found that pain or musculoskeletal complaints accounted for 7 of the top 10 conditions for which people use acupuncture. Back pain was the most common, followed by joint pain, neck pain, severe headache or migraine, and reoccuring pain.
Joint Pain (Arthritis)-
Arthritis is the most common joint pain. Acupuncture and Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) have been found to be effective at treating the pain and inflammation associated with all types of arthritis. The selection of acupuncture points and herbs depend on the type of arthritis the patient has. In TCM the causes could be wind, cold, damp or damp-heat. Once the root causes are identified, a variety of techniques such as acupuncture, Tui Na (Soft tissue therapeutic work), Gua Sha (scraping technique), Chinese herbs, food/nutritional therapy, and exercises will be applied to achieve therapeutic goals. The primary goal is to restore normal function by helping the body to be in a balanced state.
Tendonitis is the inflammation of a tendon and its ligaments, which attach it to the bone, often resulting from repetitive movements. The symptoms of tendonitis conditions include pain and tenderness at or near a joint with possible swelling over the area. Acupuncture needles are inserted near the source of pain, relieving local pain symptoms, addressing muscular dysfunction and improving blood circulation in the affected area.
Lower Back Pain (LBP)-
According to statistics, about 27 million US adults reported having back pain. Clinically, we have seen that LBP is the most common condition that our patients come in with. Acupuncture provides pain relief allowing patients to work on physical and behavioral problems that often perpetuate pain and dysfunction. Many patients with chronic low back pain find that acupuncture will help not only break the pain cycle, but allow them to reduce pain medications and participate more vigorously in physical therapy. At Prosperity Health Center, we focus on providing integrated treatments. Not only do we provide acupuncture, we also offer chiropractic care for neuromuscular skeletal system balance, and herbal care to promote better circulation and neuromuscular function. Clinically, we have seen that integrated care has shown great results.
Headache is the most common neurological ailment in the United States. Chinese Medicine recognizes and relieves pain caused by both types of headaches: primary and secondary. Primary headaches include migraines, cluster headaches and tension headaches. Secondary headaches are caused by medical conditions such as allergies, sinus disease, or head injuries. Acupuncture involves the insertion of fine needles into specific points on the body, which is followed by gentle manual or electrical stimulation of the needles. Blood flow in the tissues increases when small vessels around the area of the needle dilate. Since the pain of a migraine may be associated with the dilation of blood vessels in the head, increasing circulation in this area can worsen the patient's symptoms, which is why we utilize a unique approach to the treatment of migraine attacks. By avoiding points in the head, neck and upper body, and instead using points exclusively in the lower body, we avoid dilating the blood vessels of the head.
Fertility is a complicated part of being a woman, and acupuncture and herbal medicine are gentle methods that can guide you through the process. Since fertility is an issue that affects both men and women, we also treat men who are experiencing fertility problems. It can be frustrating trying to conceive, only to find out that things are not happening as quickly as you wish. Acupuncture has been known to help enhance fertility by restoring the body to a balanced state. Patients are encouraged to try acupuncture treatments before investing time and money into an in vitro program. In addition, acupuncture can be used as an adjunct treatment to IVF/IUF or other fertility treatments. In fact, recent studies have discovered that acupuncture, when used in conjunction with IVF, can increase a woman’s chance of successfully conceiving and carrying a baby up by 50% than those who didn’t use acupuncture. In our clinic, the successful rate has been highly satisfying.
Knowing what type of insomnia you are experiencing can help us provide the most effective treatment for you. Here is a list of pattern:
- I have difficultly falling asleep
- I wake up early and can’t go back to sleep
- I have excessive dreaming during sleep
- I can’t sleep at all
- I wake up often during the night
Based on the causes, an acupuncturist will choose specific acupuncture points to address the root causes of insomnia. In addition, when you receive an acupuncture treatment, your nervous system begins to calm down. The acupuncture needles, once inserted to the selected acupuncture points, will unravel your subconscious stresses, balancing your energy, and releasing the causes of your insomnia. Frequently, patients even fall asleep on the treatment table. We have been told that after acupuncture treatments, patients sleep the best the first night after an acupuncture treatment; however, each person responds to the treatment differently. Overall, the treatments improve the quality of sleep. It normally takes several acupuncture treatments per week, for several weeks to fully resolve chronic insomnia. We usually re-evaluate after eight acupuncture sessions.
In TCM, stress, anxiety, depression or any strong emotion can interrupt the smooth flow of energy throughout the body. According to TCM theory, energy flows through our body through a network of “pathways”, similar to a highway system. Stress, irritability/anger, or any intense emotion acts like a traffic jam, interrupting the free flow of energy in the body. Stagnation is the term used in TCM to describe the condition. Stagnation can cause tension in the muscle in addition to pain or headache. It can also cause malfunction of the organs/systems. Stagnation can easily be addressed through stimulating specific acupuncture points chosen based on the body condition. It has been reported that acupuncture works to alleviate stress by releasing endorphins – the natural pain reliever. Futhermore, acupuncture improves circulation, thus, it facilitates detoxification process. The calming nature of acupuncture slows down heart rate, relaxes the muscles and lowers blood pressure, all of those being factors that contribute to depression and anxiety.
Acupuncture treatments, when combined with diet and exercise, can produce desired weight loss results. In a study from The Journal of Medical Acupuncture, patients who participated in acupuncture lost three times the weight of those who did not. Depending on the symptoms of the patient, acupuncturists choose different acupuncture points to enable the body to restore normal functions. For example, craving for sweets, water retention and impulsive eating will be treated with different selection of acupuncture points. Problems such as sugar or hormonal imbalances can also be addressed.
Clinically we have seen many seasonal allergy patients respond exceptionally well with acupuncture treatments. Most patients find acupuncture treatments effective in reducing symptoms like runny nose, sneezing, watery itchy eyes, nasal congestion and low energy.
We also prepare individualized herbal formula to help patients to prevent the allergy from coming back.
The use of acupuncture as an alternative approach to smoking cessation has been gradually increasing in public awareness. One unique way of treatment for smoking is known as Auricular acupuncture, meaning the needle or pellet is placed at the outer ear and is normally left there for a couple of days in order to promote continuous cessation. One of the most important reasons to choose acupuncture as the means to quit is that it is all natural. The patch, pills, and gums are products that claim to help smokers wean away from their addiction more easily, however, these products are more or less replacing one addiction with another. Acupuncture is often a preferred treatment for drug addicts because of its ability to reduce cravings and alleviate withdrawal symptoms such as irritability, anxiety, and difficulty concentrating. The acupuncture treatments focus on jitters, cravings, irritability and restlessness; all symptoms that people commonly experience when trying to quit. Furthermore, acupuncture aids in relaxation during the process of quitting, and detoxifying the body of all the harmful chemicals found in cigarettes.
For many women the peri-menopausal time can be one of increasing discomfort. Menopause is a natural process when the hormonal shifts might amplify other imbalances your body may have. It is common to hear about hot flashes, night sweats, decreased sex drive, insomnia, or fatigue as part of the menopausal process. These issues respond very well to Traditional Chinese Medicine. With the help of acupuncture and herbs, we have seen my patients shed the discomforts of peri-menopause and menopause, consequently finding a new sense of self, empowering them to head into the next phase of their lives with smooth transition.
As adolescents and young adults, it is common for women to experience irregular or painful menstrual cycles and PMS. As women age, the cycles seem to constantly evolve, and with the hormonal changes that come along at various life stages, there can be entirely new sets of menstrual issues. These issues can be prevented or addressed with acupuncture. Acupuncture offers natural ways to prevent intensely painful cramps and uncontrollable mood swings. Acupuncture, Chinese herbal medicine, and lifestyle modifications are a safe and effective way to regulate this system of the female body through all stages of life, from adolescence through menopause and beyond.
Amenorrhea means not menstruating. It can be caused by various factors, such as stress, malnutrition, and unhealthy lifestyle choices. Stress can cause stagnation of energy flow in the body, which in turn may cause amenorrhea. Clinically we have seen great success to treat this condition simply by acupuncture. For example, a patient here at Prosperity Health Center came in because she had not menstruated for over a year. She was given one session of acupuncture and began menstruating the next day.
Traditional Chinese Medicine is related to emotional stress that causes digestive system malfunctions. Emotional stress is almost always a factor in the development of IBS. Digestive symptoms improve after acupuncture treatments because acupuncture affects the motility and perception of the digestive organs. Chinese herbs can also help with IBS.