What is acupuncture?

Acupuncture is an ancient Chinese system of healthcare. It aims to prevent and cure specific diseases and conditions by sticking very fine, solid needles into points of the body.

What conditions are treated with acupuncture?

Although acupuncture is not a “cure-all” treatment, it is very effective in treating several diseases and conditions. Acupuncture is most effective at treating chronic (long-term) pain, such as headaches, menstrual cramps, and low back, neck, or muscle pain. It can also be used to treat osteoarthritis, facial pain, spastic colon, and repetitive strain conditions. Acupuncture also can improve the functioning of the immune system (the body’s defense system against diseases).

For certain conditions, such as cancer, acupuncture should be performed in combination with other treatments.

What are the types of acupuncture?

There are many different styles of acupuncture. Practitioners of Acupuncture Physical Medicine (APM) palpate the body (examine the body by touch) to locate reactive areas and myofascial (muscular) constrictions (tightening). Points are selected and stimulated to relieve symptomatic or problem areas, based on the relationships of meridian acupuncture theory.

Practitioners trained in APM also locate and deactivate “trigger points” using an advanced needling technique. Trigger points are extremely common in pain conditions and cause referred pain and other symptoms of dysfunction in nearly everyone’s life at one time or another.

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