What You Should Know About Acupuncture and Low Back Pain

Back pain is, unfortunately, something that affects so many of us — specifically low back pain.

It can range from an annoying ache to debilitating, mobility limiting pain that seems to flare up at the worst times. And if you’re suffering, you’re not alone.

In fact, here are some alarming statistics from the American Chiropractic Association:

Worldwide, back pain is the single leading cause of disability, preventing many people from engaging in work as well as other everyday activities.2

  • Back pain is one of the most common reasons for missed work. One-half of all working Americans admit to having back pain symptoms each year. In fact, it accounts for 264 million lost workdays in one year—approximately two workdays for every full-time worker in the country.

  • Experts estimate that up to 80% of the population will experience back pain at some time in their lives.

  • Back pain is the third most common reason for visits to the doctor’s office, behind skin disorders and osteoarthritis/joint disorders.

  • Most cases of back pain are mechanical or non-organic—meaning they are not caused by serious conditions, such as inflammatory arthritis, infection, fracture or cancer.

  • Low-back pain costs Americans at least $50 billion in health care costs each year and when you factor in lost wages and decreased productivity, that figure rises to more than $100 billion.

Shocked?

We aren’t. We treat back pain every single day, and we can help you too.

With proper treatment, acupuncture can trigger the release of endorphins and other pain-relieving hormones (endorphins) to help calm the nerves. It can also help to calm and relax you, thus relaxing any tense muscles or spasms that are caused by the pain.

Acupuncture will also rebalance your qi, and promote healthy blood flow to the areas of your body that need it the most.

Come in today for a free consultation, and be on your way to improvement in no time.

How Acupuncture Can Help Lupus Patients

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Systemic Lupus Erythematosus (SLE) is a form of the autoimmune disease also known as Lupus.

A difficult and often frustrating autoimmune disease, Lupus affects nearly 1.5 million people across the US with symptoms including inflammation, pain and tissue damage.

Patients are often willing to try anything to combat their symptoms and restore their immune systems. Thankfully, acupuncture can play a significant role in their efforts.

A recent article by Very Well explains how the ancient art of acupuncture just might help a Lupus patient.

It’s long been believed (and proven) that acupuncture can help reduce inflammation and pain by improving circulation and the proper flow of qi, and this can be especially importnat for someone with a Lupus diagnosis.

In fact, the 2008 study entitled 'Acupuncture for Systemic Lupus Erythematosus: A pilot study RCT feasibility and safety study' published in Sage Journals examined the role of acupuncture as a means of pain treatment within the Lupus population.

Twenty four patients with the SLE manifestation of Lupus were given either standard acupuncture treatment, acupuncture treatments performed with less needles, or to remain on their existing treatment plan without treatment.

The results?

“At the end of the trial, 40% of the patients in both the standard acupuncture treatment group and the minimal needling group experienced an improvement in their pain levels of at least 30%.”

Interestingly but perhaps unsurprisingly, “the group that remained on their usual care plan reported no improvement in their pain levels.”

Ultimately, “the study concluded that acupuncture is a valid, safe and effective method to treat pain in patients with SLE.”

If you hare struggling with a lupus diagnosis and the pain, inflammation and malaise that can typically come with it — you’re not alone. Let NJ Acupuncture Center help.

Yep — Acupuncture Can Help That, Too.

Nothing is worse than a pain in the butt. Literally.

Though often not discussed, hemorrhoids are a problem that are believed to affect at least 50% of the US population at some time in their adult life. While most people keep them private, if you’re suffering — you’re far from alone.

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Hemorrhoids can range from being itchy, to being extremely painful depending on the type (internal or external) and the size. Those who suffer from them are eager to find relief and treatment, and fast.  While conservative treatment is always recommended initially, unfortunately many patients need to undergo surgical treatment or repair known as a hemorrhoidectomy.

But before taking any of those steps, acupuncture can help.

Because a leading cause of hemorrhoids is inflammation and swelling (something acupuncture combats quite well) a simple, noninvasive treatment may be all you need for relief.

In fact, according to AcupunctureToday.com, in addition to the traditional approach of acupuncture treatment for hemorrhoids  —while utilizing one, or a combination of the Du Mai points 1 ,2 ,3, 4, 5 and 6 is effective, there is also a “One-Point, One-Minute Acupuncture” method that might do the trick, too.

Developed by Carolina Beth, LAC, the Dua Mai 4 point (also known as Mingmen or Life’s Gate) is utilized. Located within the lumbar region near the second lumbar vertebra, it’s a powerful point also known to be used for importance, menstruation issues, diarrhea, and back pain. Manipulation of this point via acupuncture “increases the vital Yang energy of the patient, a therapeutic effect, which is very useful in this treatment of hemorrhoids,” says Beth.

Using her technique, the point is manipulated for one minute only, with the needle being stimulated by steady movement back and forth for the entire sixty seconds.  Beth shares two case studies that demonstrated the reported effectiveness, including a 62 year old woman who struggled with hemorrhoids  since pregnancy at age 26. With only one session, she reported being free of any symptoms over the course of the next seven months.

If you are suffering from hemorrhoids, give us a call and make an appointment. While our approach might be a bit different — we are eager to help restore health and happiness to all our clients.

Acupuncture Without Needles?

Some people are scared of needles. While there’s nothing unsafe or painful about receiving acupuncture treatment, some people’s fear of needles is what keeps them away from receiving the beneficial, wide-ranging treatment that acupuncture provides. While there are key differences between the two, there’s an alternative holistic treatment that is growing in popularity that uses many of the same principles that acupuncture does—tapping.

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“Tapping is a meridian-based therapy that releases negative emotions and self-sabotaging thinking,” Joan Kaylor, a Wahington, Pennsylvania based clinical therapist explains. “It employs the same acupressure points of acupuncture, but without needles.”

Tapping was developed in 1993 by Stanford-trained engineer Gary Craig and has increased in popularity as the years have passed. Like acupuncture, tapping centralizes on points in the body that send energy through meridians.

Although it may seem like anyone can learn tapping on their own and do it from home, like acupuncture, it is best performed by a certified practitioner.

“Someone who has watched YouTube, read a book or who has taken one workshop does not have the experience and training to teach tapping,” Kaylor says. “In addition, the more specific a patient can get about their situation, the better the results. But only a trained tapping practitioner knows how to get specific.”

So what’s the difference. While the principles are the same, the effectiveness of acupuncture has been shown to be more pronounced, leading to more permanent results with fewer visits and treatments. That’s because while tapping may apply pressure to meridian points, acupuncture goes much deeper, penetrating the points and more quickly and effectively releasing energy to the correct points of the body.

Tapping is an alternative for those who may have a fear of needles. And when one sees the benefits from tapping, they are getting just a glimpse of how acupuncture can benefit them.