Acupuncture is an important accompanying therapy for symptom management among patients with acute and chronic health problems. Dr. Pulse has offered acupuncture since 2000 after receiving certification in acupuncture from The American Medical Acupuncture Academy. Common questions ask about acupuncture are: When should I use it and is it safe?
First, acupuncture doesn’t work for everyone, but many do benefit when it’s carefully integrated into their overall treatment plan. Dr. Pulse has seen the benefits acupuncture for many years.
The effects of acupuncture often are cumulative, so it’s important not to expect too much too soon. We consider 8-10 treatments as one course. For long term problems, multiple courses may be necessary. Study after study indicates that, yes acupuncture can work. It works by activating the body’s own self-healing mechanism. The main goal in acupuncture is self-healing. Since 1971 acupuncture has come a long way, that’s when the 2,000-year-old Chinese healing art first caught on in the United States, thanks to a story in the New York Times. It’s now widely accepted among the medical community and popular with patients as well.
How does acupuncture work? No one knows for sure how acupuncture works. One recent explanation is that acupuncture works by stimulating endorphins. The hypothesis is that acupuncture stimulates peripheral nerves that send messages to the brain to release endorphins (morphine-like compounds), these endorphins block pain pathways in the brain. The eastern philosophy’s explanation is that it balances the Qi, which is the energy flow created along the pathways, called meridians, that connect the acupuncture points on the body and restores energy flow in the body.
What to expect when treated with acupuncture?
Treatment time is 20-30 minutes. Acupuncture involves the placement of very thin solid, sterile, stainless steel needles into various points on the body that are believed to have reduced bioelectrical resistance and increased conductance. Various techniques are used to stimulate the needles and improve the therapeutic effects, including manual manipulation of the needles to adding a mild electrical current. Experience in our office has shown acupuncture to be safe with very few side effects. Because acupuncture uses tiny, solid, stainless steel needles, the risk of either bleeding or infection, is extremely low.
Acupuncture benefits that we have seen relief in our office include:
Low back pain, Neck pain, Shoulder pain, Knee and Ankle pain, Headaches, TMJ, Anxiety, Sinusitis, and IBS.
That said, acupuncture is a safe and relatively inexpensive treatment option. If patients are interested on how acupuncture may benefit please contact Dr. Pulse at 713-395-2080.