1. Pain Management is what acupuncture is famous for, right? Remember the very first time you ever heard about acupuncture or Chinese Medicine? I’ll bet it was about relief from some physical pain, but let’s move beyond the undisputed #1 and talk about how else acupuncture and the whole gamut of Traditional Chinese Medicine can help heal your ills.
2. Acupuncture can reduce Blood Pressure. While treating someone with acupuncture is often the first option chosen when someone comes into our clinic with high blood pressure, we most times have to address diet, and sometimes prescribe herbs to help patients get their blood pressure regulated. It’s important to mention these other aspects of Chinese Medicine because the misconception exists that walking into a Chinese Medicine clinic, means walking into an "acupuncture-only clinic", and will only get you pain management. Not so . . . read on.
3. Women’s Health issues like menopausal symptoms, infertility, Labor and Delivery readiness, and Post-Partum health are a large part of what my partner in practice, Cristina R. de La Mar, M.S., L.Ac., Doula helps women with in our Millburn, NJ and Midtown, NYC locations. The success of supporting women through these monumental steps in life has become more and more popular in recent years, even among celebrities like Celine Dion, Kate Winslet, Natalie Portman and Gwen Stefani.
4. Oncology support through Acupuncture and Chinese Medicine has increasingly become a comforting choice for those suffering from the challenges of cancer treatment. It can help mitigate the side effects of chemo and radiation – such as night sweats, digestive issues, anxiety, and insomnia - and is one of the "other" pain management applications Chinese Medicine provides for. When the cancer is at a later stage, acupuncture and Chinese herbs can mitigate some of the bone or deep muscular pain that the process of radiation and chemotherapy can bring, and calm the nervous system as well.
5. Stress management, the bullet point for Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) has become a go-to for many in these troubling times. We all experience different levels of stress in our daily lives with mixed results and manageability, and many patients find their way to acupuncture because it has proven to be a very effective way to bring one back to center.
6. Addiction specialist, Dr. Michael O. Smith, the inventor of the NADA Protocol (National Acupuncture Detoxification Association), a five-point ear acupuncture trauma and recovery healing method, helped thousands of recovering addicts at the Lincoln Hospital in the Bronx before his passing on December 24th of 2017. The NADA protocol has helped abate cravings and reduce withdrawal symptoms from drugs, alcohol, and food addiction, and been a treatment mainstay at Lincoln Hospital since 1974. It was also found to improve sleep and provide stress management for those incarcerated in prisons and jails.
7. Insomnia! The light from our iPads, iPhones and computer screens activates the pineal gland (between our eyes), and fool the body into thinking that it is still daytime, preventing the natural shift from the Yang phase to the Yin phase of the day; Night. Acupuncture can help relax the body and balance any internal deficiencies that may prevent the body from shutting down at night.
These seven are just a sampling of the many benefits of acupuncture, as acupuncture has been a viable medicine for whole civilizations for at least 3000 - 4000 years . . . both without side effects and without tremendous cost, may I add. Additionally, it is a mobile medicine, as we rely upon hands-on physical assessment to diagnose illness instead of machines, and use tools that can be packed in a small case and carried over the shoulder.
Acupuncture has been part of this country’s culture in private practice for many years, and will soon become an option in hospitals, as we strive to navigate the current opioid crisis. This should factor into our country’s Healthcare plan moving forward, and as we are finally at the point where we acknowledge that there are other ways to manage our pain and illnesses. This shift is good news . . . no great news, and we can all use some great news right about now, can’t we?
Links to References:
Dr. Michael O. Smith
NADA Protocol (National Acupuncture Detoxification Association)
Lincoln Hospital, Bronx, NYC
Post Traumatic Stress Disorder