Acupuncture has been well studied in both Western (American) and Eastern (Asian) medicine.
Studies have shown benefits including pain relief, reduced inflammation, osteoarthritic relief, and improved nerve function.
Many Western practitioners view the acupuncture points as places to stimulate nerves, muscles and connective tissue. This stimulation appears to boost the activity of your body’s natural painkillers and increase blood flow.
Here are a few conditions that can be treated by acupuncture:
- Capsulitis (frozen shoulder)
- Carpal tunnel syndrome
- Cervical spondylosis
- Headaches, Migraines
- Lateral & medial elbow pain (tennis elbow and golfers elbow)
- Myofascial pain (deep pain in the muscle and surrounding connective tissue)
- Neck pain/low back pain
- Plantar fasciitis (heel pain)
- Patellofemoral pain syndrome (pain involving the knee cap and lateral thigh muscle)
- Rotator cuff tendonitis (pain in the tendons attaching the shoulder muscles)
- Temporomandibular joint pain (TMJ)
The FIN approach integrates a variety of dry needling techniques during a single session. Unlike acupuncture which traditionally selects points along meridians, dry needling targets anatomical structures that are the underlying cause of musculoskeletal conditions. The benefits are decreased pain, decreased muscle tension, and improved function.
WHAT IS INVOLVED?
During a typical treatment, thin filament needles are inserted into various targets that have been determined to be the underlying cause of the painful condition. They are left in from several seconds to 20 minutes. Typically there will be 10 or more needles used for most conditions. Different strategies are used for acute injuries and chronic pain conditions that make this a highly effective treatment modality for soft tissue injuries.
HOW DOES IT WORK AND WHY IS IT SO EFFECTIVE
The insertion of needles into the tissues causes the release of substances that help improve blood flow to areas of tightness and decreases sensitivity by neuromodulating the nervous system. These effects help control pain, improve function and speed up healing.
What you can expect
To determine the type of acupuncture treatment that will help you the most, after obtaining a health history, your practitioner will perform a thorough physical examination. This initial health history and treatment may take up to 45 minutes. Subsequent appointments usually take about a half hour. The average response time for a single complaint would typically involve 3 to 6 treatments, scheduled over a few weeks.
During acupuncture. Acupuncture points are located in all areas of the body. Sometimes points are far removed from the area of your pain. Your acupuncture practitioner will tell you the general location of the planned treatment.
Needle insertion. Acupuncture needles are very thin, so insertion usually causes no discomfort. A few people may occasionally experience mild discomfort. Between 5 and 20 needles are used in a typical treatment.
Needle manipulation. Your practitioner may gently move or twirl the needles after they have been placed.
Needle removal. In most cases, the needles will remain in place for 10 to 20 minutes while you lie still and relax. There is usually no sensation of discomfort when the needles are removed.
After acupuncture. Some people feel relaxed while other feel energized after an acupuncture treatment. But not everyone responds to acupuncture. If your symptoms don’t begin to improve within a few weeks acupuncture may not be the right treatment for you.