Western medical acupuncture is the use of acupuncture following a medical diagnosis. It involves stimulating sensory nerves under the skin and in the muscles. This results in the body producing natural substances, such as pain-relieving endorphins. It’s likely that these naturally released substances are responsible for the beneficial effects experienced with acupuncture. A course of acupuncture usually creates longer lasting pain relief than when a single treatment is used.
Traditional acupuncture is based on the belief that an energy, or “life force”, flows through the body in channels called meridians. This life force is known as Qi (pronounced “chee”). Practitioners who use acupuncture in the traditional way believe that when Qi does not flow freely through the body, this can cause illness. They also believe acupuncture can restore the flow of Qi, and so restore health.
Acupuncture for pain management has been used for centuries. Because it treats your body as a whole, acupuncture not only reduces pain immediately but it can help you avoid future pain in the same areas. It’s so effective that conventional medical doctors often suggest acupuncture treatment for pain.
Acupuncture for chronic pain is a powerful and natural treatment. The needles stimulate points on your body that release endorphins and other natural pain relievers. They also, according to research, increase the electromagnetic signals between the different cells in your body. This can encourage healing and eliminate pain.
Acupuncture increases blood circulation to different parts of your body and relaxes your muscles. It also helps promote emotional well-being and can increase the effectiveness of your immune system. Instead of bringing the rest of your health down in order to reduce pain (like conventional medications do) it raises the level of your whole body health.
There are many different types of pain that people can experience, and acupuncture is an effective treatment for them all. Back pain is very common and is a result of sprains or strains. Your acupuncturist may use local needles on your back to treat your pain, but most treat it with distal needles placed on other parts of your body. Your acupuncturist may use cupping or electrical stimulation along with needle insertion.
Arthritis is another common form of pain that can be treated with acupuncture. Arthritis can affect many different joints in your body. Depending on where you are experiencing arthritis pain, your acupuncturist may insert needles directly at the site or at other important points along the meridians.
If you think acupuncture is limited to treating skeletal or muscular pain, think again. It’s also been proven effective in treating migraine headaches. You can use acupuncture to relieve pain and even prevent future migraine attacks. By targeting areas that regulate blood flow to your head, your emotional state and hormonal balance your acupuncturist can eliminate migraines entirely.
No matter what types of pain you are experiencing, acupuncture has the solution. During your first consultation, your acupuncturist will work with you to identify your pain and create a treatment that is designed to heal your body. In a matter of just one session, you’ll feel the benefits of using acupuncture to treat pain.
Acupuncture has been used for centuries to treat some causes of infertility. For example, acupuncture will not work to address tubal adhesions which can occur as a result of pelvic inflammatory disease or endometriosis. However, in this situation, an individual could still benefit from acupuncture and herbs because of the potential effect of improved ovarian and follicular function. Additionally, it is shown that acupuncture can increase blood flow to the endometrium, helping to facilitate a thick, rich lining.
Acupuncture is similar to physical therapy in that it is a process oriented method of medical intervention. It is better to do more than less. Patients are commonly treated for three to four months before an insemination, in vitro fertilization (IVF), or donor-egg transfer. This period of treatment seems to have a therapeutic effect.
In a study by Stener-Victorin et al from the Departments of Obstetrics and Gynecology Fertility Centre, Scandinavia and University of Gothenburg, women are encouraged to receive acupuncture treatments pre and post embryo transfer. Clinical observations from the Berkley Center for Reproductive Wellness suggest that the most effective fertility treatments involve a combination of acupuncture, herbal medicine, and traditional medical interventions. However, conception does sometimes occur when acupuncture and herbal medicines are used without traditional medical interventions.
Your acupuncturist should not place needles in the abdomino-pelvic area after insemination or transfer. There are 6 contraindicated acupuncture points which should be avoided when the patient is pregnant or pregnancy is suspected. These include Gallbladder 21, Stomach 12, Large Intestine 4, Spleen 6, Bladder 60, Bladder 67 and any points on the lower abdomen.
There are minimal risks when using acupuncture for fertility treatment. A risk of miscarriage may develop if incorrect acupuncture points are used when a woman is pregnant. This is one reason why those wishing to include acupuncture in their treatment regimen should only be treated by an acupuncturist who specializes in treating fertility disorders. Acupuncture is not contraindicated for anyone regardless of their pathology or what medications they are taking.
Acupuncture can be used to treat any type of fertility disorder including spasmed tubes. (Spasmed tubes are often de-spasmed with acupuncture, though blocked tubes will not respond to acupuncture). Acupuncture is often combined with herbs to treat elevated follicle stimulating hormone (FSH), repeated pregnancy loss, unexplained (idiopathic) infertility, luteal phase defect, hyperprolactinemia (when not caused by a prolactinoma), polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) with annovulatory cycles, and male factor including men affected with sperm-DNA-fragmentation.
For young women just beginning to menstruate, acupuncture can help relieve cramps and PMS. The menstrual cycle can be comfortable and regular so that it won’t interfere with normal activities. Your mother may tell you that her period was difficult until she had her first baby. But you don’t have to wait that long. PMS symptoms usually begin to disappear quickly with treatment.
Chronic menstrual problems respond well to more long term care. Acupuncture combined with herbal medicine restrains heavy bleeding associated with fibroids and endometriosis and relieves pain.
For women who are trying to become pregnant, acupuncture sometimes helps solve problems of infertility. After childbirth, acupuncture are very helpful in restoring and replenishing the new mother’s energy.
For women in menopause, hot flashes (power surges) and night sweats can be greatly reduced to make this time of transition much more comfortable. Treatment focuses on stopping excessive sweating and restoring restfulness.