Acupuncture, like many traditional health care professions, such as herbal medicine, and massage therapy, is a very ancient practice. The earliest reference to mankind's health care practices have been dated back eleven thousand years. Over the centuries ancient practices and beliefs have evolved into new health sciences as our knowledge and our ability to investigate the "mysteries" of human physiology and pathology have increased.
A new form of acupuncture based on Western concepts and research has been developing in the United States over the last several decades. This new American acupuncture incorporates an evidence based scientific approach that utilizes acupuncture techniques in the treatment of specific health care problems including chronic pain, arthritis, and musculoskeletal disorders.
Traditional Chinese medicine is a treasure chest of empirical wisdom and medical knowledge. This treasure was the accumulation of centuries of clinical experience and observations. Its development over the centuries was an evolutionary process, just as the new American medical acupuncture is a part of that process of development. The Chinese "discovery" of the value of acupuncture serves as one of the great discoveries in health care along with x-ray.
Acupuncture is a valuable therapeutic modality that can be used singularly or in combination with other forms of manual medicine (Chiropractic, Massage/Stretching, and Physical Therapy).
What Does Acupuncture Do?
- There is an overwhelming and compelling amount of scientific evidence regarding the physiological, neurological, immunological, and pharmacological effects of acupuncture on the human body.
- Acupuncture needles stimulate biological sensors under the skin to dampen pain and release beta endorphins (brain's natural pain killer) from the brain for pain control.
- The effects of acupuncture can be used to stimulate muscle relaxation and general sedation.
- Acupuncture needling stimulates the immune system for anti-inflammatory effects and the initial healing responses.
What You Can Expect
Dr. Russell, will use a blend of Eastern and Western acupuncture techniques. He will determine the type of acupuncture technique and protocol that will help you the most based on your symptoms, behaviors, and lifestyle.
The initial evaluation will take about 60 minutes and subsequent appointments will take about 30 minutes. A common treatment plan for a single complaint would typically involve one or two treatments per week. Number of treatments will depend upon the condition being treated and the severity, but six to eight treatments are common.
- Needle Insertion - Acupuncture needles are very thin, so insertion is usually minimally felt or not at all. Between 5 to 20 needles are inserted depending upon the condition being treated. These are not your typical injection or blood draw needles! Acupuncture needles are a little larger than a human hair.
- Needle Manipulation - Dr. Russell may move or twirl the needles after placement to augment the bodies responses.
- Needle Removal - In most cases, the needles remain in place for 20 minutes while you lie still and relax. There is no discomfort when the needles are removed.
Some people feel relaxed and some feel energized after an acupuncture treatment. But not everyone responds to acupuncture. If your symptoms don't begin to improve within a couple of weeks, acupuncture may not be right for you. Dr. Russell, is very conscientious of this and will discuss this with you.
Since medical acupuncture has volumes of scientific studies to support its use and has very little if any side effects, it may be worth a try if you're having trouble controlling your pain by conventional medicine.