A common question that we get asked daily is, “What is acupuncture?”. Eastern medicine is elusive to many Americans and the goal of this page is to hopefully start the conversation on what acupuncture is and how it can be used. Our Overland Park providers have advanced training in the practice of acupuncture. Dr. Kelsey Crow, DC DABCA has a Diplomate in Chiropractic Acupuncture by the CCA. Dr. Callan Martin DC, CCSP is board certified by the National Board of Chiropractic Examiners in the practice of acupuncture. Make sure that your chosen provider is licensed and has met the training requirements set forth by their state licensing board.
Acupuncture originated in 2,700-2,500 BC, over 4,500 years ago! The discovery is attributed to the “Yellow Emperor”, Huangdi in Ancient China. How the practice began exactly is unknown, it is thought to have started on the battlefield. Soldiers would get pierced with arrows and other conditions/complaints would be healed. Ancient healers investigated why and compiled this information into “meridians” of treatment points that are a path throughout the outside and inside of the body. There are hieroglyphics found showing old acupuncture techniques where bones “bian” and stones were used as tools.
Chinese acupuncture theory; it is a system that helps return the balance of energy of the body to where it should be. Most people have heard of yin and yang being the concept of dualism, harmonizing of one’s life. This is the primary principle; everything is good in moderation and balance. When people start to have symptoms, there is an imbalance of energy, called a blockage or stagnation of Qi.
What is Qi? Qi is known by many names throughout history, some of the names include but are not limited to; the life force, innate energy, body energy, soul, and what we lose when we die. Today we call it the energy system of the body.
What does a session look like? Practitioners take a detailed history and examination to see how the body is unbalanced, then come up with a plan of action. A formula of points is derived to lead the body back to balance. There are many ways to help balance the body but the most common is through acupuncture needles. These are thin, hair-like needles that are placed into the skin at specific points proven to help balance the body. The needles used in our office are sterile, single-use, disposable stainless steel needles. These needles after placed in the skin and retained for approximately 15 minutes. Other styles of meridian therapy include tui-na (a style of bodywork that varies techniques comparative to standard massage and chiropractic manipulation), cupping, gua-sha (scraping of the skin), herbology (nutritional supplements), and Qi gong (motion exercise).
When should I seek care? For upkeep and general wellness of the body it is recommended to come in at the changing of the seasons. This is the most important time believed in text throughout the ages. Traditional Chinese Acupuncture does NOT cure ailments, but instead helps the body balance and heal itself. Some common symptoms that people have seen success with using acupuncture are headaches, low back pain, infertility, and anxiety. Our office proudly welcomes referrals from the VA Medical Center and other health professionals.
What is the difference between Acupuncture and Dry Needling? The standard Western adaptation of acupuncture is to treat pain in the muscles, joints, nerves and connective tissue. These Western practitioners use acupuncture techniques to increase blood flow, modulate the inflammatory response, release your body’s natural painkillers and change the brain’s perception of the affected area. “A-shi” points are the term used to describe tender, palpable points written of in ancient acupuncture practice and were treated by acupuncturists for centuries. Janet Travell, co-author of Myofascial Pain and Dysfunction: Trigger Point Manual was a pioneer in the study and treatment of musculoskeletal pain. This experience led her to become the first female physician to the president, John Fitzgerald Kennedy (JFK), the 35th president of the United States. One of her treatments included the usage of a hypodermic needle filled with lidocaine and another “dry” hypodermic needle with no medication inside of it. These needles were inserted into tender spots she termed “trigger points”. The “dry” needle was used to manipulate the tender trigger point to facilitate the desired effect. Today the difference between dry needling and pain-based Western Acupuncture is blurry and leads to a hot debate between practitioners.
Where can I go for a session? Our chiropractic physicians have gone through extra training here at Back on Track Chiropractic + Acupuncture and they will be able to consult you on your acupuncture needs. Other sources for care would be licensed acupuncturists also known as an LACCOM (L. Ac.).
Published by: Dr. Kelsey Crow, DC DABCA
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