Modern Acupuncture Benefits and Treatment in San Diego
Acupuncture has been a revered part of Eastern medicine for millennia and now, as scientific research continues to prove its efficacy, it is gaining popularity in Western medical practices. In the United States alone, more than 10 million treatments are administered each year. This is in large part due to the fact that acupuncture boasts a wide range of benefits and a low risk of side effects.
Whether you want to relieve stress, reduce pain, or improve your overall health and well being, acupuncture may be able to help. Aspire Regenerative is proud to offer acupuncture in San Diego to patients suffering from a vast array of conditions.
What Is Acupuncture?
Acupuncture is a time honored healing practice that works to restore the balance of a person’s life force energy, or qi (pronounced “chi”). Acupuncture is a mainstay of Eastern medicine and has been around for thousands of years.
In Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), it is believed that illness and pain are symptoms of an imbalance in a person’s qi. By placing hair-thin needles into specific acupressure points along the meridians that qi flows through, acupuncturists help to restore balance and improve patients’ overall health. With the help of modern science, we now know that acupuncture has a physiologic effect with the body interacting with underlying tissue such as nerves, tendons, ligaments, muscle, fat, and skin.
Acupuncture is a complementary therapy, meaning that it works well in conjunction with other treatments. It doesn’t interfere with medications and it can be beneficial to patients undergoing physical therapy.
What Are the Benefits of Acupuncture Therapy?
The documented acupuncture benefits are numerous and research into exactly how this treatment works on a cellular level is ongoing. Western medical practitioners have found that acupuncture and regenerative medicine are closely related. In fact, studies have found that acupuncture can help repair atrophied muscle tissue and damaged nerve cells. It has even been shown to stimulate the release of stem cells to help heal a range of injuries and acute conditions.
Healthy individuals may seek acupuncture for stress relief. Athletes often undergo acupuncture to help with injuries, muscle stiffness, swelling, and soreness. Acupuncture has even been shown to help with weight loss/management and smoking cessation.
A report published by the World Health Organization (WHO) outlined numerous diseases and conditions that acupuncture has been shown to positively impact. The list included but was not limited to the following conditions:
- Tension headaches
- Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD)
- Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
- Dental pain
- Meniere’s Disease
- Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS)
- Gastritis (acute and chronic)
- Colitis (acute and chronic)
- Esophageal spasms
- Acute sinusitis
- Acute tonsillitis
- Bronchial asthma
- Premenstrual syndrome (PMS)
- Menopause syndrome
- Low back pain
- Tennis Elbow
Acupuncture has also been found to have cosmetic benefits. In addition to relieving stress, facial acupuncture treatments can help:
- Reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles
- Improve overall skin texture
- Brighten complexion
- Minimize pores, facial swelling, puffiness, and sagging
- Reduce acne
- Improve muscle tone
- Reduce jaw tension
Are There Any Side Effects Associated With Acupuncture?
Modern acupuncture has a very low risk of side effects when performed by a licensed professional. Single-use sterile needles significantly reduce any risk of infection. The most common side effects reported by patients are mild bruising or soreness where certain needles were placed during treatment. If you experience any discomfort during treatment, let your acupuncturist know, so they can make adjustments.
Acupuncture may not be recommended if you have a blood clotting or bleeding disorder. In addition, you should tell your acupuncturist before treatment if you have a pacemaker, or may be pregnant, as certain needle placements may induce labor, or interfere with a pacemaker.
What Should I Expect During Acupuncture Treatment?
Whether you are treated with acupuncture for anxiety, a physical injury, or cosmetic purposes, the sessions will be very similar. The major difference will be in the exact placement of the needles. For example, those suffering from lower back pain will be asked to lie face down on a table so that needles can be placed on acupressure points in and around the lower back. In contrast, facial acupuncture is done with a patient lying on their back, so that needles can be placed along the face, hairline, and neck. There are hundreds of acupressure points located all over the body, so which points are targeted depends on the condition being treated.
Each treatment session will last approximately 30-45 minutes. There is nothing you need to do beforehand to prepare and you will be able to resume your normal activities immediately after treatments. Once the needles are lightly tapped into place, you can listen to music or simply close your eyes and relax. Many patients enjoy taking this time to meditate or center themselves. It is a good idea to avoid taking blood thinners (such as ibuprofen) prior to treatment, and you should drink plenty of water after each session to help flush out any toxins.
The number of sessions needed varies based on the condition being treated and the severity of symptoms. Your clinician will determine the best treatment plan for you.
Interested in learning more about acupuncture or scheduling an appointment? Book a consultation at the Aspire Regenerative acupuncture clinic in San Diego. Our highly trained clinicians can make treatment recommendations and create a personalized care plan to help you reach your health and wellness goals.