Acupuncture is one of the oldest forms of treatment in recorded history.  The use of acupuncture in traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) dates back at least 2500 years and there is some evidence suggesting its use 4000 years ago. 

In acupuncture there are certain points on the body associated with channels of energy known as “meridians”.  These points can be stimulated by any number of means, such as needles, electric stimulation, lasers, metal non-piercing needles and direct pressure just to name a few.

The classical theory behind acupuncture treatment in TCM is that meridians are channels of energy that connect the skin with the underlying organs and structures of the body.   A disruption of this energy flow can cause disease or symptoms to occur.  Stimulation of these points is thought to restore the balance or energy flowing through the points and channels.  Due to the broad ranging implications of this theory, acupuncture is one of the primary forms of therapy in TCM and is still in wide use in China and many other countries.

Studies done by traditional western medicine have shown that acupuncture points (1) effect the release of the bodies natural pain relievers and immune system cells (2) are more electrically conductive than the surrounding tissue and therefore send signals to the brain at a higher rate and (3) can alter the chemical output of the brain itself (neurotransmitters and neurohormones).  

One of the most appealing things about acupuncture treatment is safety.  The complications from acupuncture are extremely rare and usually associated with poor needle technique.  The main concerns of adverse reactions come from poor sterile technique which is rare in the U.S. due to the high use of disposable needles.  The second concern is the possibility of puncturing an organ due to improper placement of a needle during treatment again this is a very rare complication.  The more common side effects are mild discomfort or mild swelling and redness following needle insertion.  Side effects are rare but possible.  Using only a certified acupuncturist will reduce the chances of complications.  

If there is a fear of needles or these rare complications the use of non-needle techniques like electroacupuncture, lasers or acupressure completely eliminate these worries.

The needles I use in my office are Japanese style disposable; these are very small diameter, shallow insertion needles.  This greatly decreases the likelihood of any complication due to the single use and the very shallow depth of insertion.   The small diameter makes the treatment more comfortable and often completely painless.  This again is due to the solid structure and size of the needle which is very different from the hollow hypodermic needles most of us are familiar with.

My training in acupuncture was a certification through Parker Chiropractic College in a course taught by Dr. Richard Yennie.  Dr Yennie is considered one of the pioneers of acupuncture in the United States.

If you have any questions regarding acupuncture or chiropractic care please call my office (972-424-4266) for a free consultation.