Rick Weisbrot, MS, LMT, LAC

Acupuncture can treat a variety of illness and disease states. One example is arthritis, an inflammatory condition quite prevalent in the baby boomer generation. Acupuncture can be helpful in giving relief to many arthritis sufferers. How does this work?

Most practitioners of acupuncture answer this question using “Eastern Concepts” of energy flow or “chi,” which runs through meridians in the body. But Americans typically prefer down-to-earth explanations of how acupuncture can ease their pain. Basically, if you have a tight muscle impinging on a nerve or organ, then blood and nutrients can’t flow and your body can’t work to optimum capacity. An acupuncture needle can unblock those obstructions and often induce an endorphin response similar to the famed “runners high.”

What acupuncture can and cannot do:

Acupuncture can relieve muscular spasms. An example is a 52-year-old male who could not extend his leg. His knee would lock and his doctor had him on pain medication. His MRI was normal so there was really nothing structurally wrong with him. After just one acupuncture session, he regained full use of his leg. His problem was tight muscles, which could be released with acupuncture.

A 76-year-old female who was scheduled for knee surgery suffered from osteoarthritis and her knee was rubbing bone on bone. Her problem was structural and there was nothing acupuncture could do to cure her though it could relieve her pain.

A 25-year-old female suffered significant abdominal distress and pain. Her stomach muscles were constricted baring down on her other organs, which impeded their functioning. Acupuncture was able to relieve these sources of stress.  During the examination it was discovered that she loved salads, peanut butter, and dairy, not a good choice if you are prone to abdominal distress. If done correctly, acupuncture evaluates the whole person including diet, sleep patterns, and emotions that affect a patient’s well being. 

Everything we do in life affects us positively or negatively. Acupuncture gives us the ability to help facilitate our own healing. 

Before trying acupuncture, one must rule out other medical conditions. Acupuncture can help about 80% of patients that Western medicine can’t. The beauty of acupuncture is that it treats the whole person without drugs and has been doing a pretty good job for the past five thousand years.