How does Acupuncture Work?
Acupuncture is a process whereby your chiropractor inserts very thin needles into your skin at strategic points on your body, and it’s a common treatment for chronic pain. Acupuncture can help patients meet their overall wellness goals, and is even known to assist with stress management. The strategic acupuncture points along a patient’s body are targeted in order to stimulate the nerves, muscles, and connective tissue that hold stress and pain within the body.
Many, many professional and journal-published studies have been conducted to assess the benefits of acupuncture. The greatest and surest benefit of acupuncture has proven to be its effectiveness in pain management, including chronic neck pain, osteoarthritis and knee pain, and even headaches and migraines.
Acupuncture also is known to relieve many other types of pain, including (but not limited to) the following:
- Post-operative nausea and nausea experienced as a result of chemotherapy
- Bain pain
- Respiratory problems
- Elbow pain (i.e., from playing tennis)
- Cramps, particularly menstrual cramping
- Pain from the labor and delivery process, including morning sickness
- Epigastric pain
- Migraines and tension headaches
- Facial pain, including dental and jaw pain
- Autoimmune disorders
Who is Acupuncture For?
Your chiropractor will work with you to determine if you are a good candidate for acupuncture, as many Americans dealing with chronic pain are.
Some common signs that you might be a candidate for acupuncture include the following:
- You suffer from chronic pain that affects your daily life
- Other forms of chronic pain management treatments have not been effective for you
- You’re looking for a safe, natural, and holistic pain management treatment
- You want to avoid the side effects of taking high doses of pain medication frequently and for an extended amount of time
- You’re looking to integrate a series of lifestyle changes in order to reduce your chronic pain and/or stress
Can Acupuncture Help with Neck Pain?
Studies show that acupuncture helps with neck pain. A German study conducted with over 14,000 participants who received acupuncture services for neck pain found that those who incorporated acupuncture into their treatment plan had better pain relief than those who did not incorporate acupuncture.
Another study suggests acupuncture may be more effective for neck pain than massage. The study analyzed 177 people who suffered from chronic neck pain and incorporated acupuncture into their treatment plan. Researchers found that after five acupuncture treatments, acupuncture patients experienced higher relief from neck pain, as compared to patients who received neck massages.
Patients should choose whichever method of chronic pain management they prefer, and are also free to choose both, as the effectiveness of massage has been proven to help manage chronic neck pain, as well. But the reason acupuncture may be more effective, according to expert Mike Cummings, MB, ChB, Dip Med Ac, medical director of the British Medical Acupuncture Society in London, is simple: “Acupuncture is very intense pressure inside the muscles. With massage, you can’t get quite the same intensity of pressure. This [pressure therapy] does appear to be an extremely effective therapy for neck pain.”
What to Expect at Your First Acupuncture Visit:
Patients that are new to the acupuncture process often ask what they can expect during their first visit. During your treatment visit, your therapist will insert extremely thin needles into strategic anatomical locations to target your chronic pain. Most patients report very little to no pain at all during the process. The most common report is a mild aching once the thin needle has been inserted to the correct depth.
The length of treatment will vary based on the patient’s specific needs. Sessions can last up to 60 minutes, although many patients won’t need that much time. Common plans include one to two acupuncture visits per week to treat a single area, such as the neck or the back.
During the acupuncture visit, patients will lay on a cushioned table for treatment. Generally, acupuncture treatments can utilize anywhere from five to twenty very thin needles at a time. After insertion, your acupuncturist may need to move the needles gently or head the surrounding area for optimum pain treatment. Electric pulses may also be a part of some patients’ healing process.
Needles will normally stay in place for around ten to fifteen minutes as patients relax on the padded table. Most patients feel zero discomfort as a result of the needle removal.
If you’ve been struggling with chronic pain and stress, acupuncture may be a helpful practice to incorporate in your treatment plan. Team Chiropractic’s office in Raleigh, NC is here to help you reach a pain-free place!
Whether you’re new to the Raleigh or Wakefield, North Carolina area and looking for your new chiropractor or if you’re a new patient to acupuncture or chiropractic services altogether, we would love to assist you on your healing and pain reduction journey.
New Patients at Team Chiropractic can receive a special package entitling them to a new patient consultation, examination, any necessary spinal x-rays, their first adjustment, and a Doctor’s Report – all for $47.
This is $525 value – we are really that excited to welcome you to the Team Chiropractic Ministry!
After your consultation and examination, we may be able to provide treatment same-day if you have only a simple muscle problem. If the root cause of your pain is a bit deeper, we’ll work with you to develop a comprehensive and regular care plan.