What is acupuncture?
Acupuncture is an ancient oriental healing technique based on the Taoist philosophy of balancing energy meridians within the body, thus allowing the body to heal itself. Fine needles are painlessly inserted at key points corresponding to body organs to relieve pain and cure disease and dysfunction. Related techniques include the use of low voltage, electric current (electro acupuncture) or massage at key points (acupressure).
Acupuncture and pain relief.
Many people seek acupuncture for pain relief. Pain has many presentations. The first thing you need to understand about pain is it has a specific purpose. The purpose of pain is to inform you that something is wrong. A sore throat, headache, and back pain have one thing in common; each condition sends a pain signal to your brain. When the pain signal reaches the brain the patient will take action ether consciously and/or subconsciously.
Pain can be acute, chronic, or recurring in nature. By acute we mean the injury or illness is recent. By chronic we mean you have had the condition for an extended period of time and require ongoing treatment. A recurring illness is one that you experience every once and awhile, for example many people have back pain in spring time or allergies in fall.
There is a myth that acupuncture can stop pain permanently and keep your medical doctors from discovering a more serious underlying condition. Nothing could be farther from the truth. You can’t stop the pain signal forever, without resolving the underlying problem. Acupuncture like pain medication is powerful but each has limits. Some patients need treatment for extended periods of time and some patients need treatment permanently to manage pain.
How often should I get acupuncture?
A good rule of thumb is if you feel 25% improvement after one treatment then four visits will be required. A 50% improvement after the first visit then you will probably require two or three treatments. In the event, you only feel a 10% improvement after one office visit then ten treatments will be required. Although I wish I could help everyone some conditions require a team approach and others simple don’t respond to acupuncture.