What I Treat With Acupuncture and Dry Needling and How Acupuncture Works

Acupuncture and Dry Needling are an essential component in the treatment of pain. Here is a list of acute and chronic pain conditions I have treated successfully. Acupuncture is also essential in the treatment of disease of Internal Medicine. Continue below to find out how acupuncture treats pain and diseases of internal medicine.

Acute Pain:

  • Sports’ Injuries
    Ligament and Joint Capsule Sprains
    Muscle and Tendon Strains
    Muscle Tears
    Disc Injuries
    Shoulder Soft Tissue Injuries
    Runner’s Knee
    Heel Spurs
    Tennis Elbow
    Golfer’s Elbow
    Low Back and Neck Injuries
    Surfers and Snow Boarders Bruise Injuries
    Trigger Point Pain
  • Repetitive Use Injuries/Worker’s Comp Injuries
    Carpal Tunnel
    Tendonitis and Tenosyonovitis
    Wrist Pain
    Hand and Finger Pain and Numbness
    Thoracic Outlet Syndrome
    Brachial Plexus Syndrome
    Nerve Impingement Syndromes
    Neck and Low Back Pain
  • Car Accident
    Whiplash
    Neck Pain
    Mid-back Pain
    Lumbar Pain
    Headache, Dizziness, Nausea following accident due to muscle pain

Chronic Pain

  • Musculo-skeletal
    Arthritis, Osteo and Rheumatoid
    Chronic stiffness in back and joints
    Chronic tennis elbow
    Heel Pain
    Chronic Low Back and Neck Pain
    Fibromyalgia
    Headache, Tension and Migraine
    Tendonitis
  • Neurological and Visceral
    stomach pain
    trigeminal neuralgia
    digestive pain
    menstrual pain
    premenstrual pain
    post surgical pain
    herpes simplex and zoster pain
    urinary pain.

How Acupuncture Works for Pain:

Acupuncture is physical medicine, like Physical Therapy, Chiropractic and Massage. Acupuncture has been demonstrated to have very specific anti-inflammatory properties. The insertion of the fine, hairlike acupuncture needle into the body draws out inflammation from the local tissues around the needle by “de-polarizing” the inflamed tissue. That is, the needle has the opposite electrical charge as the inflamed tissue.

At the same time acupuncture  stimulate the body’s secretion of cortisol from the adrenal glands into the blood stream. Cortisol is the body’s most powerful antiinflammatory, its own natural Cortisone. This reduces inflammation throughout the body.  Acupuncture also causes the secretion of Endorphins, the body’s own opiate-like neurotransmitters. These help break the pain cycle, allowing muscles which have tightened up in response to pain to now relax.

A major component of many pain conditions are tight “hypertonic” muscles. This is the body’s natural, though counterproductive response to pain and inflammation. Placing needles in hypertonic muscles causes them to relax, allowing for increased blood circulation and pain relief.

How Dry Needling Works for Pain:

Another component in pain conditions are the “trigger points,” specialized neuromuscular  tissue bundles that, when activated due to stress or mechanical factors like repetitive use or lifting a weight with a sudden jerky movement, refer pain through the body. Trigger points are the cause of about half of headache and body pains. Trigger points are effectively  “deactivated” by dry needling.

 

Acupuncture in the Treatment of Diseases of Internal Medicine:

In Chinese medicine, the energetic blueprint for disease is stagnation of Qi (a kind of bioelectricalmagnetic energy) that under ideal conditions flows unhindered through the 16 major channels or meridians in the body.

The beginning point for the creation of a diseased state is when the flow of Qi through its specific pathways (the channels) is obstructed. In the case of  a uterine fibroid, for example,  before there was a fibroid there was an obstruction of the qi-energy that should normally flow freely through the three channels that flow through the uterus. Due to unmitigated stress, chronic menstrual blood stagnation, attack of cold into the uterus, creation of excess heat in the uterus due to emotional factors, or due to a congenital abnormality, the free-flow of qi through the uterus was obstructed. This led to an obstruction of the blood (a denser form of qi)  and then of fluids and other tissue until finally a fibroid was formed.

The treatment of disease with Acupuncture then, is based upon opening  the flow of qi through the channels. This is like allowing more water to flow into an irrigation channel in order to remove a blockage created by mud, grass and debris. This is what the placement of acupuncture needles into the proper locations on the channels does. It stimulates and unblocks the flow of qi, so that over time the pathological, disease and pain causing stagnation of substance,  whether blood, fluid, heat or cold, will follow.

This is the basic mechanism by which we use acupuncture to treat so many diseases. If the qi obstruction is allowed to fester over the long term, then the whole body becomes fundamentally imbalanced. The hands and feet, which should be warm, become cold, the head which should be cool becomes hot, the digestive tract becomes inflamed, the mind can’t stop working at night, etc, etc. Where things should be relatively dry, they become damp (yeast infections, respiratory infections, digestive disorders), where they should be moist, they become dry (insomnia, psoriasis, tendonitis, menopause).

The Science on How Acupuncture Works

There are many theories, but what we do know is that acupuncture affects the nervous system directly, taking us out of sympathetic nervous drive, which is associated with stress, and into parasympathetic, which is associated with relaxation and wellness. But it is not so simple. Acupuncture also directly affects the endocrine system which is in charge of hormones, and affects the neurotransmitters in the brain. Powerful stuff.

Even better is what researchers at UC Irvine Med Center have discovered using real time MRI

that when we needle UB67, a point used for eye diseases located on the little toe bilaterally, the tissues of the brain associated with the eye “light up.”

This is enormously significant. As one of my teachers put it, acupuncture is Chinese medicine surgery. It is the most invasive procedure we have in Chinese medicine, one in which we influence organ function directly.

 

Diseases of Internal Medicine I have personally had success treating with acupuncture and Chinese herbal medicine.

Gastrointestinal: Abdominal pain, irritable bowel syndrome, nausea, indigestion, ulcers, esophageal reflux, and weight reduction, constipation, diarrhea

Internal: diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, liver/gall bladder dysfunction, hepatitis,  hemorrhoids,

Respiratory: Asthma, sinusitis, bronchitis, allergies, common cold and flu, smoking cessation.

Gynecological: Premenstrual syndrome, menopausal syndrome, menstrual pain and dysfunction, fibroids, cysts, endometriosis, menstrual migraine.

Genito-urinary and Reproductive: impotence, low libido, excess libido, prostatis, bladder infections, yeast infections.

Dermatological: Acne, psoriasis, eczema, herpes, shingles, dry skin

Immune System: Lupus, fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue, herpes, hiv related syndromes,

Stress Management: Hypertension, insomnia, inability to relax, memory loss,  headaches.tension and migraine, addictions

Psychological: Anxiety, panic attack, depression, mania, eating disorders; anorexia, bulimia, overeating, addictions and substance cessation.

 

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