Common Questions (and Answers!) about Acupuncture

Let’s start at the origins. Acupuncture has been practiced for hundreds of years, though not all in the same form. During the Stone Age, people used knifes and other sharp objects to relieve pain and disease. Warriors that were hit by arrows during battle noticed areas of relief in different parts of the body.funny_acupuncture

Monks noticed energy moving in specific areas of the body while they were meditating and eventually started recording these findings. Over time, the practice became modified and was researched in depth to bring the modern acupuncture we know and use today.

What does the treatment consist of?

A doctor will go over your health history (if they do not already know it) and assess what your health complaint is and where it’s located. From there, they choose the acupuncture points that will be beneficial for your care (they might ask you to change into shorts or a gown depending on the location). The doctor will use an alcohol pad to disinfect the area and tap the needle in the point.

Wait! Needles!? Yes needles, but acupuncture needles are TINY! They are only .25

 

mm thick, where the average sewing needle is 1 mm thick. There is very little to no pain at all when the doctor taps the needle into the point.acupuncture-needle-size-comparison
So how does acupuncture work? Let’s use a common condition that many people suffer from as an example. Headaches. There are many ways to get rid of a headache, including acupuncture! For example, here are three points that are used when treating headaches:

 

GB 20, Li 4, and Si 13. The letters stand for Gall Bladder, Large Intestine, and Small Intestine channels.

Where the numbers stand for certain points along that channel. Now these channels are used for specific reasons. Gall bladder and small intestine are used because of their location on the body. The large intestine channel is used because Li 4 is the strongest point for a condition that involves the upper body. Depending on the type of headache, other points may be used. If the headache is considered a “pounding headache” then the liver channel might be used because that channel helps control blood flow.

Treatment by acupuncture

Can pregnant women use acupuncture? YES! Acupuncture is a great natural treatment method for pregnancy pain and is safe for both mother and baby. Acupuncture can be used to help with pain and nausea associated with pregnancy. It can also be used to help with infertility issues.

 

What about children? There isn’t a specific age that is “too young” for acupuncture. If a child can sit still for 15-20 minutes then a doctor can perform acupuncture on them. Acupuncture is a helpful treatment for anxiety, depression, headaches, stomach pain or reflux, ADHD/ADD, and more.

Acupuncture is used for many different conditions like sinus allergies, depression, infertility, constipation, pain management, musculoskeletal disorders and more! It is a safe and natural way of treating health issues and goes hand in hand with chiropractic care!

Want to learn more about Acupuncture? Head to our website or read more in our blog!

Pregnancy Pains? Try Chiropractic!

New mothers and moms-to-be can attest to the aches and pains that can accompany their pregnancies.  Most commonly, we see complaints involving low back and pelvic pain, but many women may also experience mid back and rib pain, muscle achiness, sciatica (pain into the legs), and heartburn.  These aches and pains can become a real nuisance for these women and make pregnancy a difficult time.

During pregnancy, the average woman can gain 25-35 pounds, or even more, which can place increased stress on her joints and tighten muscles of her neck and back.  Weight gain during pregnancy changes a woman’s center of gravity forward, which places further stress on her low back spine.

Pregnant women also create hormones to help relax and loosen the ligaments attached to the pelvis to accommodate for baby’s growth, which may cause imbalances of the spine and pelvis.

pregnantLuckily, chiropractic care can have a dramatic and positive effect on the pain a woman may experience during her pregnancy.  A chiropractor is trained to detect any imbalances that may exist in the spine and pelvis, as well as find muscles that may have tightened up due to her pregnancy.

Chiropractic adjustments are safe for both mom and baby and may be able to give immediate relief of pain.  Chiropractors can also recommend and perform muscle work and/or acupuncture to help with pain or other symptoms experienced as well.

Prenatal exercises can be prescribed to help stretch and strengthen muscles of the back and pelvis to prepare for labor and delivery.  Nutritional advice can also be given to help a women enjoy a healthy pregnancy for herself and her baby.

Chiropractic care can also help after labor and delivery.  During the first couple of months post-delivery, the ligaments that were loosened during pregnancy begin to tighten again.  It is important to treat any imbalances in the spine and pelvis brought on during pregnancy or from delivery before the ligaments return to their pre-pregnancy state to prevent further muscle tension and pain.

If you or a loved one is an expecting mother and has questions on the benefits of chiropractic during and after pregnancy, ask one of our doctors.  We love helping women enjoy their pregnancies naturally and pain-free!

 

Have Pregnancy Pains? Try Massage!

Research from the last few years shows that massage is one of the most popular alternative therapies for women during their pregnancy. Research also suggests that massage is effective in reducing pregnancy related leg pain, back pain, neck pain, and depression.

During pregnancy, many rapid changes are occurring in the body’s shape, weight, and center of balance. These changes can lead to an increase in neck, back and hip discomfort during pregnancy. pregnant

Pregnancy is an excellent time to utilize massage therapy! During the massage treatment, specialized positioning is used to allow the therapist to work all areas of the body. Like any other massage, the massage therapist will tailor her techniques to the individual to help reduce tension and stress in the neck, back, shoulders, hips, arms and legs.

Massage helps improve circulation and also decreases swelling in the lower extremities. Utilizing massage throughout pregnancy is a wonderful way for the expecting mother to relax and take some time for herself.

If you have any questions on how massage can help you during your pregnancy, please ask one of our certified massage therapists!

Pregnancy and Chiropractic Care

During pregnancy, a woman’s body will go through an enormous amount of changes, including structural and hormonal changes. One of these changes is to release a hormone called relaxin to help relax the ligaments and tendons that surround the joints.

As this is wonderful to allow the pelvis to be able to open and stretch during delivery, it can lead to more flexibility in the joints throughout the body and contribute to some discomfort in the neck, lower back and buttocks.

Also during pregnancy, a woman’s center of gravity shifts forward due to the increased size of the uterus placing mores tress on the joints of the lower back and pelvis.

This discomfort is often known as the “normal” aches and pains that come along with pregnancy. But who said that is just has to hurt until after you are done being pregnant?

Doctors of chiropractic are trained to address these complaints by looking at posture and how the joints are moving in relation to one another. Chiropractors are able to help correct these areas of misalignment and help pregnant women adjust to their ever changing body.

pregnant.jpgChiropractic adjustments are safe for pregnant women and can be especially helpful for those who are trying to avoid any medications. Doctors of chiropractic can also offer nutrition, ergonomic, and exercise advice to help a woman enjoy a healthy pregnancy.

Chiropractic care can also help after childbirth for both the mother and baby. In the weeks following labor and delivery, the ligaments that loosened during pregnancy begin to tighten. Ideally, joint problems brought on during pregnancy from should be treated before the ligaments return to their pre-pregnancy state to prevent further pain and discomfort.

Newborns can also benefit from chiropractic care. Childbirth can be very traumatic for the baby, so getting an adjustment afterwards can help put the spine back into alignment. A chiropractor adjusts infants very differently than adults. They use techniques that are very gentle. So gentle in fact, that the pressure they use to adjust an infant is similar to the pressure you use to test the ripeness of a tomato!

Being pregnant is a very exciting time in a woman’s life, be it her first pregnancy or her tenth! It’s also a major undertaking for her body. Getting regular spinal check-ups can make sure her spine is able to handle the necessary changes the body will be going through.