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Acupuncture & pain

Why Acupuncture? 
• Acupuncture is proven to be effective in pain
• No major side effects & no pain
• Minimal health costs

There are many effective treatment methods and medications to relieve pain.  We could say that everyone has at some point taken a pain relieving medication or anesthesia treatment.  They usually work by relieving pain temporarily while the natural healing process takes care of the actual painful symptom. 

Acupuncture treatment is a very powerful treatment for pain. It works by stimulating the flow of the qi in the area being treated.  In oriental medicine theory, pain is caused by an obstruction in the flow of qi.  By stimulating the qi of a specific painful area, pain is being elevated.  In western point view, acupuncture raises endorphin levels, thus diminishes the nerve system’s pain response. 

Although scientific researches are still in the midst of trying to successfully explain the mechanism behind acupuncture and other alternative treatment methods, there are numerous studies that have already found the effects of acupuncture for acute and chronic pain syndromes and symptoms. 

Of course, just because it hasn’t been scientifically proven yet does not mean it is not effective. As most patients who have already done acupuncture and acupressure treatments for lower back pain, neck pain, shoulder pain, migraines and chronic headaches might have experienced, it is a superior way of treating pain compared to conventional pain therapies like just consuming effective pain killers, NSAIDS and effective analgesics. 

Anatomically, acupuncture needles can reach directly into the specific muscle fiber that has formed a knot, a trigger point, that could be said is a cause of pain in trigger point acupuncture styles. Deep tissue massage and Tuina uses fingers to press down deep and ease out the tension of that point. In trigger point acupuncture treatment, or muscle acupuncture, we use very thin needles that are usually 10 times thinner than a usual injection needle, to insert it directly into the knotted muscle fiber and cause miniscule injury to that trigger point. The miniscule injured muscle is now triggered into an inflammatory recovery mode thus removing the knotted tension from the painful muscle simultaneously. 

Acupuncture is a superior way of treatment, compared to conventional pain killers and analgesics, since it also stimulates the healing process of the pain’s origin itself, thus fundamentally treating pain.  Also conventional medicine require a continual increase of dosage to maintain the desired effect, while acupuncture can be applied how many times as necessary without the toxicity of the medication. 
Lower back pain & sciatica

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• Most effective non-invasive treatment for back pain 
• Immediate pain relief 
• Lower back pain, lumbar pain, herniated disc, sciatica, scoliosis, spinal stenosis

Prolonged sitting in front of desks, while working in front of computers is a main cause of lower back pain and sciatica. Sudden acute back pain might just flare up due to continuous strain of the back from sitting too long or sleeping in bad position.  Sprain occurs when carrying heavy items, exercising or lifting weights in an incorrect position.  The cause of low back pain can be different, so each patient must be evaluated and managed in the context of the patient’s own daily lifestyle. 

Acupuncture can be an effective treatment method, of it being easily applicable with immediate effect in acute back sprain or low back strain, even the body’s non-injured healthy muscles that freeze up in an overreaction of the body’s defensive mechanism.  Although the sprain or the strained muscle tissue would need time to recover, the surrounding muscle tissues, which have not been injured, do not need recovery time.  Just by stimulating the qi of the surrounding muscle fibers, we can relax the over reacting muscles and relieve them of their unnecessary rigidness, thus immediately reducing pain to about 50%.  With the overreaction gone, the patient now only has to deal with the original injury which can also be recovered quickly through appropriate acupuncture and other therapies. 

Neck & shoulder pain 

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• Immediate relief from sprain and strains 
• Better at removing tension spots than deep tissue massage 
• Improves ROM (range of motion) within few sessions 
• Shoulder blade pain, TMJ symptoms, frozen shoulder, rotator cuff pain and tear, shoulder bursitis, carpal tunnel syndrome, brachial plexus injury, myofascial pain syndrome, turtle neck syndrome

Neck or should pain is usual with white collared workers, who work in front of desks all day long. The awkward position of looking down the computer monitor constantly strains the area between shoulder blades and cervical spine, especially the C5, C6 and C7 regions.  The increased usage of desktops, laptops, tablets and other electronic devices all lead to constant strain of the cervical spine and the shoulder. 

Since the neck and shoulder region is an integrated region that consist of multiple layers of muscle fiber, fascia ligaments and tendons, just by focusing on one joint or one muscle tissue with physical therapy or massage cannot fully treat the complex issue of neck & shoulder pain.  Direct acupuncture application on muscles can immediately relieve the tension of specific muscle tissues and fascias, improving the range of motion (ROM) within few sessions. 

Migraine & headaches

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• Studies have found acupuncture is effective on migraines 
• Chronic migraines have fundamental causes that should be treated with herbal medicine 
• Tension headache is caused by neck and shoulder tension

Over 45 million Americans suffer from chronic headaches, and 28 million suffer from migraines and sinus headaches.

Several clinical studies have shown that acupuncture is effective for treating chronic headaches. This is because acupuncture not only concentrates on the pain itself, but also tries to get rid of the origin that causes the pain.  Herbal medication is also helpful in treating the fundamental causes. 

Headaches are also diverse in their cause.  A commonly reoccurring headache is tension headaches, also known as stress headaches.  It emerges when patients have been in constant stress or tension, and appears usually in the occipital region (the back head area) and also the margin where the trapezius muscle fascia is connected to the occipital protrusion of the skull.  Tension headaches are due to excessive tension build up in the cervical region, neck and shoulders.  By relieving these tension parts and stiffness, tension headaches can be eliminated easily. 

Sometimes indigestion or menstrual cycles are the cause of headaches.  Some PMS (premenstrual syndrome) arise as headaches.  Severe bloating or food poisoning can also be associated with headaches.  Personalized in-depth consultation is required by a holistic nutritionist or oriental medicine doctor for correct diagnosis.  

Golf elbow & tennis elbow

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• Golf elbow, golf swing pain or flank pain can be immediately alleviated with acupuncture 
• Sports injury should be treated with a combination of acupuncture, physical therapy and massage

Sports injuries are mostly soft tissue strains or sprains of related muscular structures.  Bone fracture is much less common.  Because it is a soft tissue injury, appropriate physical therapy should be combined with acupuncture treatments.  Combined with acupuncture therapy, rehabilitation and occupational therapies are more effective, result in shorter recovery time and help patients quickly regain their functions.