Acupuncture for Back Pain

More and more patients are inquiring their doctors about acupuncture for the treatment of their back injury and pain.  However, many people still erroneously think that the idea of an acupuncture needle stuck into their body would only add to their body pain. The truth is acupuncture is a very effective and safe way of relieving body pain.  Back pain sufferers who have tried it found acupuncture especially effective in the management and treatment of their acute or chronic back pain, and spasms and aches, after injuring their lower back.

What is Acupuncture?

A component of traditional Chinese Medicine in Marlton, acupuncture is generally viewed by western society as merely simply a needling medical process. It has many forms and is often combined with Chinese herbal medicine and yin/yang breathing techniques both of which also are components of traditional Chinese medicine (TCM).  Acupuncture is a quite old form of healing art practiced in china for over 5,000 years.

Acupuncture is not only used to help pain and it was already being utilized to treat conditions even before steel was invented. This implies that the acupuncture needles used thousands of years ago before steel was invented were made of wood, particularly bamboo wood. The Chinese were already using needling techniques and acupuncture to successfully treat each other of their maladies long before they were aware of the power (energy) existing in the body that they were stimulating to help treat their condition.

The traditional way of way of performing acupuncture is based on the notion of vessels of energy known as meridian points running throughout the body. Acupuncturists believe that the meridians are where qi or vital energy flows to energize the entire body. The meridian points are associated with the body’s various organ systems like the heart, large intestine, liver, etc. Acupuncturists also believe that acupuncture and TCM for the relief of pain needs to utilize needles to stimulate the meridian to help the body get rid of all types of pain like back spasms, buttock pain, back aches as well as chronic and acute pain. Since the meridians do not usually lay on the organs systems it is associated with, the needles are often not inserted in the area where the pain actually is located.

For back injury and lower back pain, traditional acupuncture has proven to effectively treat pain for back spasms, back aches and both chronic and acute pain. It can help in alleviating chronic pain and back spasm, as well as aid in the decrease of the long term modifications in the brain’s processing of pain.

These past few years, acupuncture has become more widely accepted in the United States as an effective and safe way to relieve all kinds of pain, from mild headaches, neck and back pain to pregnancy and delivery pains.  A new and westernized form of acupuncture known as Dry Needling acupuncture is widely used by both western doctors and acupuncturists to relieve body pain. This type of acupuncture is very effective in relieving muscle spasm, providing immediate relief from muscle spasm caused by back injury, buttock pains, back spasms, and back aches.

Muscle spasm as a result of back injury is a natural body reaction to help protect the site of the injury. This causes affected people to suffer from back spasms and back ache. Several muscles surrounding the pelvis can spasm after a back injury and this causes pain in the buttock that may be combined with lower back pain and back aches that will not be evident on an MRI or an x-ray.

The increase of muscle spasm can cause trigger points to develop in the muscles. The points are primarily what cause the back spasm, buttock pain and back pain as well as the back aches. The dry needling procedure effectively rids the body of these trigger points helping relieve the back spasms, back aches and lower back pain.

The Dry Needling technique is applied to effectively and safely destroy the trigger points via a fast needling procedure of the affected site.  It is different from Acupuncture because the needling process is done for only 5 to 10 seconds whereas in acupuncture, the needles are left inserted in the skin for about 20 minute or more.  Acupuncturists have discovered the Dry Needling technique to be extremely effective in treating spine pain, buttocks pain, back spasms, lower back pain and back aches.  When the trigger points are removed after a back injury, relief from pain can be almost instantaneously felt.

Acupuncture for Infertility

Acupuncture and infertility have a deep connection with each other.  Being a very useful alternative mode of treatment, acupuncture techniques have been practiced for over 5 millennia in China and parts of East Asia; it has been used in Europe for hundreds of years, while in the United States, acupuncture became a household word in the early 1970s when a New York Times journalist, James Reston, used it as an anesthesia for his appendectomy surgery. This operation had proven the power of acupuncture, at least, for the relief of pain.  As time went by, acupuncture’s benefits were realized by more and more people in the US.  The growing popularity of acupuncture techniques among Americans led to the rise of 16 acupuncture schools as well as two medical schools.  The power of acupuncture is proven time and time again especially when it is used as a form of general anesthesia for major operations such as brain surgeries. Today, there are more than 6,000 practicing and licensed acupuncturists plying their trade in the United States.

The Relation between Infertility and Acupuncture in Walla Walla

What kind of association does acupuncture have with infertility? In studying how acupuncture treatment can resolve fertility problems, researchers have seen that acupuncture is very useful in treating both female and male infertility. For addressing a number of problems associated with infertility, like PMS, blocked fallopian tubes, and amenorrhea, can likewise be effectively treated by acupuncture techniques. Virtually any part of the body can be treated by acupuncture. And it is not only the symptoms of a condition that acupuncture addresses but also the condition’s underlying root cause. Acupuncture techniques, when utilized with Chinese herbal medicine as prescribed by practitioners of Chinese herbal therapy, produces maximum results when it deals with fertility problems.  The fundamental techniques of acupuncture already existed and were created by Chinese Taoists more than 3000 years ago. The organs in the human body are aided by these techniques to become revitalized making sure that the amounts of vital energy keep smoothly flowing.  Infertility and acupuncture treatment are intimately related, since affected acupuncture points are chosen for the insertion of the very thin and sterilized acupuncture needles. The needles produce a positive stimulation making sure that human reproductive organs function optimally, since all obstructions in the pathways of vital energy flow have been removed.

The techniques used in acupuncture have a plethora of benefits especially when it comes to treating conditions connected to infertility. Acupuncture is a very effective therapy especially when it’s combined with other traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) modalities or even with conventional means of treatment.

Here are some of the benefits acupuncture can provide a person suffering from infertility:

Acupuncture has no side effects – besides that, any other negative side effects from drugs are filtered out with the help of acupuncture. The level of toxicity that can increase because of certain invasive procedures and from the intake of pharmaceutical meds can be significantly lessened with acupuncture.
Acupuncture enables the body to heal itself- this treatment addresses a condition by seeing the person as one comprehensive system that includes the body and mind. There are no separate body parts with acupuncture therapy.  By using certain TCM diagnostic tools, the main causes of infertility are identified detected and cured.  This means that the person’s body will be healthy and strong enough to heal itself.

Acupuncture is a perfect complementary therapy for assisted-reproductive techniques (ART)– the levels of effectiveness and success of several ART procedures like ICSI, TET, GIFT, ZIFT, AHT and IVF soar when acupuncture is added to the treatment plan. The main reason for this is that acupuncture betters the current state of health of the patient. When acupuncture combined with Chinese herbal remedies is used, patients can experience the restoration of the normal function of their endocrine system. Their overall health also gets better.  Women attain pregnancy much more easily and the postnatal recovery period gets accelerated with this treatment.

Infertility drugs may not be needed during acupuncture therapy – acupuncture can be used as a standalone treatment for infertility.  In a lot of infertility connected problems, acupuncture is seen by many as the most effective therapy and is even recommended by physicians. Currently, in the West and Asia, an acupuncture technique known as Integral Chinese Medicine (ITCM) is widely used by practitioners there. This technique integrates the western methods of treatment with that of acupuncture techniques.  This means of treatment has shown to enhance the general effectiveness of acupuncture techniques by several degrees.

Acupuncture has long been a treatment for infertility in China. Like mot natural forms of remedy, it is a type of holistic treatment that addresses both the patient’s symptoms and underlying cause of his/her condition. Holistic therapies treat the patient as a whole unit rather than viewing his/her body as a set of different physical and mental aspects. TCM practitioners often treat physical and emotional stress and recommend a healthier lifestyle for their patients. Regular exercise and a regular balanced diet form vital aspects of holistic therapies as well as the different kinds of Chinese herbal remedies. All in all, acupuncture treatment and other holistic modalities are valid and very effective ways in curing infertility problems.

Dr. Jack Handlin is an experienced acupuncturist, Chinese herbalist and oriental reproductive medicine specialist at Tree of Life Acupuncture & Chinese Herbal Medicine in Bellevue, WA.