What is Acupuncture?
Acupuncture is a 2000 year old medical practice that involves the insertion of hair thin stainless steel needles into various points of the body, to release blocked energy, relieve pain, increase blood flow and stimulate healing. Acupuncture treatments are designed to bring the entire body gently into balance, and address both the main complaint as well as any underlying musculoskeletal and energetic imbalances that are preventing healing and limiting optimal health. (see below for a full list of the benefits of Acupuncture)
What is Orthopedic Acupuncture?
Orthopedic Acupuncture incorporates the use of motor point needling, trigger point release therapy, electro-acupuncture, gua sha and cupping, to help resolve soft tissue dysfunction, alleviate pain, and encourage optimal functioning of the musculoskeletal system. Utilizing both muscular therapy techniques as well as acupuncture greatly enhances the effectiveness of treatment and gets to the root of the problem from a number of directions.
How Does Acupuncture Work?
Modern science proposes that needling acupuncture points stimulates the nervous system to release biochemicals, such as endorphins, immune system cells, and neurotransmitters, in the muscles, spinal cord, and brain. In addition to killing pain, these chemicals can influence the internal regulating system of the body and affect involuntary bodily functions such as blood flow, immune reactions, body temperature, and digestion. By stimulating the nervous system and influencing these these bodily functions, acupuncture can help the body heal itself naturally.
How many treatments will I need?
Treatments are individually tailored to each patient to address their unique needs and to achieve their personal health goals. Acupuncture is a process and often requires a number of consistent treatments in the beginning, with less frequent maintenance treatments as progress is made. Each session builds upon the last, working to address different layers of dysfunction, with the goal of providing long-term relief and healing.
Is it safe?
When administered by a licensed practitioner, acupuncture is a very safe form of therapy. Licensed Acupuncturists in Massachusetts are trained and certified in Clean Needle Technique, which requires the adherence to strict safety guidelines, such as the use of sterile, disposable needles, to minimize the risk of infection.
Does it hurt?
For most people, acupuncture causes minimal to no pain. The needles used during acupuncture are very fine and are nothing like the hypodermic needles used to give injections at a doctor's office. A patient may feel a slight prick similar to a mosquito bite when the needle is first inserted. At times, a tingling, dull ache, or warm sensation may be experienced at the point where the needle is inserted. This is a desired affect and should not be uncomfortable. Often, during an acupuncture treatment, a patient feels so relaxed that he or she will fall asleep.
Is it covered by Insurance?
Insurance coverage for acupuncture treatment varies from policy to policy. With the increasing demand for acupuncture, insurance benefits for acupuncture are becoming more common. If your insurance policy has "Out of Network" Acupuncture coverage, we will help you get your treatments covered by giving you an itemized bill to submit for insurance reimbursement or by submitting claims to your insurance directly.
Electro acupuncture involves the application of gentle electric current to acupuncture needles to further stimulate the acupuncture points. The use of electro acupuncture provides controlled stimulation to the acupuncture points without causing tissue damage. It is used for the treatment of a wide range of ailments and is particularly useful for treating pain problems and chronic conditions.
Cupping is a type of therapy that involves the use of glass cups, which are suctioned onto the skin for a few minutes at a time. This therapy is used to pull toxins out of the body, eliminate obstructions of qi (energy), and relax the muscles. It is most often used for muscular pain and tightness, but can also be used to treat colds, digestive disorders, and more.
Gua sha is a healing technique that involves the cutaneous stimulation of the skin in strokes using a round-edged instrument. The purpose of gua sha is to remove blood stagnation, which is considered pathogenic and a cause of pain. This results in increased circulation and metabolic processes, and often, the patient experiences immediate improvement of pain, stiffness, or respiratory issues.
INFRARED HEAT THERAPY
Heat therapy is often used by acupuncturists to promote circulation and induce the smoother flow of qi (energy) and blood in cases of muscle pain, soft tissue injuries, arthritis, headaches, and more. The TDP lamp is a medical device that is a safe, relaxing, and effective way of applying heat therapy. This therapeutic device features a plate coated with a mineral formation consisting of 33 essential elements to the human body. When activated by its heating element, the mineral plate emits deep, penetrating waves that are readily absorbed into the tissues. This promotes faster healing by stimulating microcirculation, which delivers higher levels of oxygen and nutrients to injured cells while eliminating toxins and cellular waste.
Qigong is a form of regulated movement and/or breathing exercises designed to cultivate and improve the quality of qi, or life energy. The purpose of this is for health maintenance, therapeutic intervention, spiritual growth, and to enhance martial arts ability. Practicing qigong is widely recognized for being beneficial in helping to alleviate stress, increase mental clarity, increase energy, and improve flexibility.
What is Acupuncture helpful for ?
The World Health Organization (WHO), the health branch of the United Nations, lists more than 40 conditions for which acupuncture may be used. The table below lists these conditions.
Neurogenic bladder dysfunction
Immune system tonification
Source: World Health Organization, United Nations. "Viewpoint on Acupuncture." 1979 (revised)