Acupuncture can relieve many physical and psychological symptoms and is well recognized as a treatment for pain relief. Acupuncture practitioners stimulate specific points on the body by inserting thin needles through the skin, triggering the body's natural healing response.
In 2007, an estimated 3.1 million Americans used acupuncture. Today that number is steadily growing as acupuncture is increasingly integrated into traditional medical settings.
How Acupuncture Works
Acupuncture points are conductors of electromagnetic signals throughout the body. Stimulating points along these pathways influences neurotransmitter rates. This increases the body's release of natural painkillers (such as endorphin and serotonin), modifying the way the brain receives pain signals.
Acupuncture for Pain
In the United States, most acupuncture patients (7 in 10) seek relief for pain or musculoskeletal complaints. According to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the most common disorders treated with acupuncture are back pain, joint pain, neck pain, severe headache / migraines, and recurring pain.
Medical acupuncture has been found to provide pain relief for the following conditions:
- Acute and chronic pain
- Back pain
- Headaches & migraines
- Osteoarthritis pain
- Musculoskeletal pain
- Phantom pain
- Post-surgery pain after total knee or hip replacement
Acupuncture for Weight Loss
People gain weight for many reasons, including a slow metabolism, hormone imbalance, poor diet, or lack of exercise. Many patients turn to acupuncture to help regulate the body processes that aides weight loss.
Research shows acupuncture has the ability to influence obesity hormones. Treatments can suppress ghrelin and increase leptin hormones, leading to a greater feeling of satiety or fullness.
Overall, acupuncture treatment can aide weight loss by curbing your appetite and cravings. It may also be effective in boosting metabolism and helping the body produce the chemicals required for digestion.
Acupuncture for Other Conditions
Acupuncture is effective in treating over 40 different diseases and conditions. Acupuncture can:
- Alleviate nausea due to pregnancy or cancer treatments
- Ankylosing spondylitis (AS)
- Boost immune system
- Help normalize functional disorders
- Improve fertility
- Promote whole-body healing
- Reduce inflammation
- Reduce nicotine and drug addiction
In 2008, the British Journal of Anesthesia published a systematic review of controlled clinical acupuncture trials. The report found that acupuncture decreased pain intensity and lowered the side effects of common pain killers. The American Pain Society and the American College of Physicians also endorse acupuncture as a treatment option for persistent back pain.
Many clinical trials are ongoing and Western medical practice continues to increase its support for this complementary therapy.
Acupuncture Treatment: What to Expect
At BayCare Clinic, acupuncture treatments are provided by Dr. Danqing Guo. Dr. Guo is a board certified family medicine physician who treats a full range of musculoskeletal disorders and pain issues. Dr. Guo has training in traditional Chinese medicine and medical acupuncture and has been using acupuncture as part of his practice for 20 years.
At your first visit, Dr. Guo may request a thorough review of your condition and health history to determine treatment needs. Tell all your health care providers about any complementary therapy you use to manage your health. This information helps your providers deliver coordinated, safe care.
Acupuncture needles are metal and hair-thin. Most patients feel little to no pain as the needles are inserted. After treatment, you may feel energized or relaxed - everyone experiences acupuncture differently. A typical course of treatment may last several weeks or more.
Please call 920-497-0003 to schedule an appointment or you may request an appointment online. No referral required.
The National Center for Alternative and Complementary Medicine provides an overview of acupuncture, and its use as a pain relief treatment.