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Dr. Marr Newsletter Oct 9, 2011

What is Acupuncture, What Does it Treat, and How Effective is it?

"There are more than 80 different acupuncture styles in China, as well as Japanese, Korean, Vietnamese, European, and American styles. The common feature shared by all the different types of acupuncture is using needles to treat the soft tissue (acupuncture). The effects of needling activate the built-in survival mechanisms that normalize homeostasis and promote self-healing.

The acupuncture can be defined as a physiological therapy coordinated by the brain which responds to the stimulation of manual or electrical needling of peripheral sensory nerves.

As early as 1890 acupuncture was recommended for lower back pain by the famous Canadian doctor sir William Osler in his classic textbook The Principle and Practice of Medicine. Today in Western societies acupuncture is largely used in pain management, and this analgesic function is still the most studied aspect of acupuncture.

The needling treatment is performed directly in the painful tissues and locally activates neuron-endocrine, immune, and cardiovascular reactions around the needling sites in the painful tissues. These local "needle reactions" directly desensitize the painful nerves and repair the damaged soft tissues. The Chinese have an old saying that nine out of ten diseases produce pain, and according to statistics, 85% of the pain in our daily lives is soft tissue pain. This is why acupuncture is seen primary as a modality for pain management in Western societies.

Using acupuncture for lower back pain and neck pain

The unique advantages of using acupuncture in treating lower back pain and neck pain include:

  1. Acupuncture treats the whole body, concentrating on the cause of the problem and not only on the area where the problem is manifested. So pain in the lower back and neck areas as well as referred pain in the upper and lower limbs can be treated simultaneously.
  2. By promoting general well-being, acupuncture accelerates and enhances the self healing potential of the body. Improved healing potential directly reduces local inflammation, the main process that causes pain.
  3. Acupuncture needling precisely targets and dissolves tension in acupoints, relaxes muscle spasms, eases physiologic stress by balancing the activity of nervous systems, promotes local blood circulation, and reduces swelling and inflammation in strained or sprained muscles.
  4. Musculoskeletal disorders are the most common cause of pain and disability in the lower back areas. Most musculoskeletal pain symptoms respond very well to acupuncture therapy. Acupuncture needling can effectively reduce inflammation in the neck and back muscles, facet joints, and ligaments."

In our next newsletter we will continue on most successful areas for acupuncture treatment.

Source: Yun-Tao Ma, Mila Ma, Zang Hee Cho. Biomedical Acupuncture for Pain Management. St.Louis: Elsevier, 2005.



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What is Acupuncture?
Acupuncture is a treatment method that assists the body to promote natural healing and to improve functioning. This procedure is done by inserting very thin needles at precise acupuncture points. Heat and Electrical stimulation may also be applied over the needles to increase the effects of the acupuncture treatment. Acupuncture can also be done without needles  using the heat and electrical methods.
How does Acupuncture work?

According to the ancient Chinese theory, channels of energy called meridians run in regular patterns throughout the entire body. Meridians flow like rivers through the body to nourish the tissues. However, a disturbance in the flow of this energy can back up in part of the body like a dam and restrict it from moving. The acupuncture treatment restores the proper movement of this energy and allows healing of the corrupted tissue.

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The Chiropractic Lifestyle
Chiropractors are experts in the care of the bones, nerves, muscles and connective tissues that make up about 60% of your body. All of the joints in your body are part of this musculo-skeletal system and its optimal function is necessary for overall good health. Ask your Doctor of Chiropractic for more information about a care program that may include specific spinal adjustments, exercise recommendations, nutritional advice or other conservative methods of care based on your health history, age, current condition and lifestyle.
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