Expanding our list of services to better serve the residents of New York City, Dynamic Sports Physical Therapy is pleased to announce that we will now be offering acupuncture as a treatment for pain and a number of other conditions. With that, we’d like to take this opportunity to walk you though just what acupuncture actually is, what conditions it’s used to treat and how it works.
Acupuncture is an adjunct and non-traditional therapy that originated in China more than 3,000 years ago. It’s referred to as an adjunct because it’s typically used in combination with other therapies, and non-traditional because acupuncture is not considered a traditional part of Western medicine. It was introduced to the U.S. in the 1970s, and since then, its become more mainstream with growing popularity.
More than 14 million Americans have tried acupuncture, and for many, the decision comes after other treatments and therapies have failed. This is especially true for patients with chronic (long-lasting) pain who have tried everything else; however, the list of ailments acupuncture is used to treat is quite large. It includes addiction, stroke, menstrual cramps, tennis elbow, osteoarthritis, carpal tunnel syndrome, low back pain, cancer side effects, infertility, headache, stress, anxiety and depression.
These represent just a sample of the seemingly endless number of issues that can be treated with acupuncture. While some may doubt the wide application or effectiveness of acupuncture, studies continue to support its benefits and show it to be a safe treatment with minimal side effects compared to some medications.
So, how does this ancient Chinese therapy actually work? Here’s a quick breakdown:
- According to Chinese traditional medicine, there are more than 2,000 acupuncture points throughout the body, through which energy (or “chi”) must pass through freely for good health; disruptions in chi lead to illness
- These acupuncture points connect with 20 meridian points, or pathways, which help conduct the chi throughout the body
- The meridian points happen to coincide with trigger points, which are spots on the body where pain radiates away from the center of when pressed
- During a session, a trained acupuncturist will insert anywhere from 1-20 hair-thin needles into these points for 15-30 minutes, in attempts to correct or maintain the normal flow of chi and address the imbalances in the body
- In addition, acupuncture has been found to affect other systems of the body; it may release hormones and pain-killing chemicals called endorphins, and help cells from the immune system fight infection and inflammation
Acupuncture is not for everyone and should not be used as a first line of treatment for any condition. But if you’re experiencing a long-term issue that other treatments have failed to improve, acupuncture may be worth consideration. If you’re looking for acupuncture services in New York City, Dynamic Sports Physical Therapy is now available to help. For more information on the benefits of acupuncture or to schedule an appointment, call us at 212-317-8303