We integrate this component of Traditional Chinese Medicine to correct disharmony in the flow of natural energy through the meridians of the body.
What you can expect:
- Expert evaluation
- Safe, cost-effective alternative way to alleviate and treat numerous conditions that cause acute and chronic pain
- An adjunct therapy in the overall treatment plane
Acupuncture is a form of alternative medicine most commonly used to relieve pain by inserting monofilament needles through the skin at specific acupuncture points on the body.
A short history of acupuncture…
As a main component of Traditional Chinese Medicine, the technique is performed to correct the disharmony and imbalances in the flow of Qi (or “natural energy”) through the meridians (or channels) of the body by stimulating their corresponding acupuncture sites. While acupuncture has been practiced by many different cultures in various countries for thousands of years, it is generally accepted that it originated during the Shang Dynasty (1600-1100 BC) in China (1,4).
It was not until the early 1970s that Americans became familiar with acupuncture. In 1971, a journalist for the New York Times named James Reston wrote the article, “Now Let Me Tell You about My Appendectomy in Peking.” Millions of Americans read about how the severe pain from his appendicitis was relieved in one hour by the Traditional Chinese Medicine technique (7).
What conditions can be treated by acupuncture?
Today, acupuncture is performed independently and in addition to other forms of treatment (i.e. physical therapy, massage therapy, exercise prescription) for a number of conditions, including but not limited to:
- Sports Injuries
- Neck and Shoulder Pain
- Back Pain and Sciatica
- Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
- Headaches and Migraines
- Arthritis and Tendinitis
- Insomnia and Sleep Apnea (3)
Acupuncture has pain-relieving effects within the body.
While the exact mechanism of action that explains how acupuncture works is still unclear, researchers currently propose that its analgesic—or pain relieving—effects result from a complex sequence of neurohormonal events which release natural opioids and monoamines within the body. These chemicals bind to receptors and modulate pain signals within the central nervous system. In other words, the current research literature suggests acupuncture results in the suppression or depression of pain signals to the brain, which in turn, allows relief from pain (1,6).
What does the academic research say about acupuncture?
Patients with knee osteoarthritis have been shown to respond positively to acupuncture treatments with significant decreases in pain intensity and improvements in function. Their mobility in normal activities, in sport, and overall quality of life is frequently improved. One study suggests that acupuncture may have functional and structural effects on the brain, ultimately preventing the rapid, natural degradation of tissue in the prefrontal cortex of the brain, thus allowing it to control (and in the case of patients with knee osteoarthritis) decrease the experiences of pain (2,5). Pregnant women with low back and pelvic pain have also had success with acupuncture treatments. When used in conjunction with stabilizing exercises, acupuncture has been shown to effectively alleviate pelvic pain and nighttime back pain compared to standard antenatal care and stabilizing exercises alone (6).
Acupuncture is a safe, cost-effective alternative way to alleviate and treat numerous conditions that cause acute and chronic pain in more than 100 million people in the U.S. each year (7).
At Pacific Coast Sports Medicine, acupuncture is used as an adjunct therapy in the overall treatment plan for many individual patients. Our multidiscipline approach utilizes many different modalities to design a customized plan thereby maximizing the recovery for each patient. No two patients are exactly alike. A therapy that works for one patient may not work for another. By having so many different treatment options available, such as acupuncture, Pacific Coast Sports Medicine has the knowledge and flexibility to develop a regenerative medicine prescription which will help most patients achieve their goals.
- Wikipedia Web site. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Acupuncture. Accessed October 27, 2014.
- Chen X, Spaeth RB, Retzepi K, Ott D, Kong J. Acupuncture modulates cortical thickness and functional connectivity in knee osteoarthritis patients. Sci Rep. 2014;4:6482.
- Conditions Treated. Dr. Benny Lin’s Acupuncture Clinic Web site. http://www.bennylinacupuncture.com/Conditions-Treated.html. Accessed October 27, 2014.
- Dunning J, Butts R, Mourad F, Young I, Flannagan S, Perreault T. Dry needling: a literature review with implications for clinical practice guidelines. Phys Ther Rev. 2014;19(4):252-265.
- Manyana T, Froese M, Zarychanski R, Abou-Setta A, Friesen C, Tennenhouse M, Shay BL. Pain management with acupuncture in osteoarthritis: a systematic review and meta-analysis. BMC Complement Altern Med. 2014;14:312.
- Vas J, Aranda-Regules JM, Modesto M, Aguilar I, Barón-Crespo M, Ramos-Monserrat M, Quevedo-Carrasco M, Rivas-Ruiz F. Auricular acupuncture for primary care treatment of low back pain and posterior pelvic pain in pregnancy: study protocol for a multicentre randomised placebo-controlled trial. Trials. 2014;15:288.
- Zhu LB, Chan WC, Lo KC, Yum TP, Li L. Wrist-ankle acupuncture for the treatment of pain symptoms: a systematic review and meta-analysis. Evid Based Complement Alternat Med. 2014;2014:261709.