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Acupuncture for Neck Pain: Does It Work?

Acupuncture for Neck Pain: Does It Work?, Flashpoint Acupuncture, Quakertown, PA in Quakertown, PAChronic neck pain is one of the most common pain issues faced by students and office workers. Oftentimes, spending hours at a desk each day, combined with poor postural habits, is the root cause of the pain. However, for some, sports injuries, whiplash, and the wrong bed mattress or pillow can set off the pain. Regardless of what caused the neck pain to begin, many people find relief with acupuncture when seemingly nothing else helped. Scientific researchers and clinicians have been conducting clinical trials on the use of acupuncture for neck pain since the 1980's, and most of these studies have confirmed that acupuncture is safe and effective.

One recent pilot study (published October 30, 2013 in the British Medical Journal) conducted at the Kyunghee University Medical Center in Seoul, Korea found that acupuncture three times per week was as effective as 80 mg of NSAIDs taken daily for chronic neck pain.

A meta-analysis of studies including 17,922 patients, published in Complementary & Alternative Medicine, found acupuncture to be effective for the treatment of back and neck pain, osteoarthritis, and chronic headaches. Patients receiving acupuncture had remarkably better results than patients receiving “sham” acupuncture. Those patients who had the worst baseline mental status and worst baseline pain scores also experienced the most benefit from acupuncture.

A rather intriguing study published in the Australian Journal of Acupuncture & Chinese Medicine tested the effectiveness of acupressure on distal acupoints on the hands for the treatment of chronic neck pain in the gallbladder and bladder meridians. There were a total of 60 patients in the study (30 in the treatment group and 30 controls who received acupressure on sham points), and those in the treatment group experienced dramatic pain relief over the 3-week treatment period. The control group did not report significant improvement.

One large study conducted in Germany and published in the Journal of the International Association for the Study of Pain found that patients with chronic neck pain lasting more than six months experienced considerable long-term relief with acupuncture, in comparison to a control group receiving conventional medical care and no acupuncture. A total of 14, 161 patients participated in the study, and there were 10, 395 patients who chose to receive acupuncture treatment (non-randomized). In addition, 1880 patients were randomized to receive acupuncture, and 1886 were randomized to the control group. The acupuncture groups were treated up to fifteen times in three months with acupuncture; the control group received conventional medical care. The non-randomized acupuncture group experienced more severe pain at the beginning of the study. Both acupuncture groups reported greater pain relief than the control group six months after the initiation of the study.

While the numerous scientific studies on the efficacy and safety of acupuncture have varied in methodology and number of patients recruited – and none of the studies have been flawless in design – the findings consistently support the use of acupuncture for long term relief from chronic neck pain. Since acupuncture is a cost-effective treatment modality that is relatively free of side effects, it would be prudent for medical professionals to recommend acupuncture to patients with neck pain before prescribing potentially addictive pharmaceutical drugs and risky surgical procedures.



Acupuncture Reduces Stress without Negatively Affecting Empathy

by Friselina Locadia, LAc

A recent study was done on health care workers using auricular acupuncture to reduce stress levels. Health care work is a profession where empathy and caring for patients is integral and an absolute necessity. Subjects administered the treatment tested much lower on the State-Trait Anxiety Inventory test for stress levels and higher in courage and patients on the Caring Ability Inventory. This is great news for anyone working as a health care provider because this can be one of the most stressful jobs out there. To know that you can reduce your stress levels in such an environment in a safe, natural way while maintaining your passion for your work and the people around you is a godsend. Anyone in a high stress professional life should definitely see an acupuncturist to discover how it can help you live better and work better.
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Acupuncture May Help Relieve Symptoms after Chemo

There has been a wealth of research done, and still being done, on the effects of acupuncture on cancer patients undergoing chemo. Recent studies have confirmed statistically significant decreases in fatigue in breast cancer patients (Reuters). These studies are still just coming out and most physicians are wary of saying that acupuncture will be guaranteed to relieve fatigue due to chemo but more physicians are consistently telling their patients to give it a try.

In another study several women going through chemo were given acupuncture to help with their nausea and vomiting and 24 of the 26 women given acupuncture reported much less nausea and an overall better and more health feeling (Sciencedirect). These results are still not conclusive but with more research being done regularly into the positive effects of acupuncture for cancer patients it’s definitely worth talking with your doctor about.


Acupuncture Proves Useful in Treating Spinal Cord Injury

A recent study examining the beneficial effects of acupuncture in treating spinal cord injury has found some conclusive and impressive results. The study conducted on 100 subjects suffering from high grade spinal injuries has found that acute acupuncture can statistically raise sensory and motor function and downgrade spinal injuries according to the ASIA index (American Spinal Injury Association). The study followed up with the subjects a year after treatment to find that the treatment had remained effective. Spinal injury is painful and immediately gets in the way of one’s everyday life so it’s important to treat it quickly and effectively and acupuncture is proving to be a natural and practical way to alleviate the pains and effects of spinal injury.

Acupuncture an alternative choice for Migraine headaches

by Friselina Locadia, LAc

Alternative cures and remedies are today often considered when typical or prescribed treatments or regimens fail to live up to the mark. Traditional Chinese Medicine and Acupuncture have been practiced for thousands of years and is well know as a means for managing pain and a wide range of conditions safely and effectively. In addition, acupuncture can serve as a complementary or alternative therapeutic measure, for disorders that are often difficult to treat with conventional medication.

The International Headache Society has developed a classification systems for migraine and headache and defines migraine as one of the main types of primary headaches. It is estimated that approximately 28 million Americans suffer from migraines on an ongoing basis.

A migraine can be irritating and debilitating, it manifest with physical symptoms such as severe and throbbing pain on one side of the head, sensitivity to light and sound, nausea and possibly vomiting. Some patients have also reported other symptoms such as dizziness, irritability, insomnia, tinnitus, low back pain, fatigue, loss of appetite, or a need to lie down. A migraine attack can stem from food allergies and intolerance, improper diet, emotional concerns, stress, working long hours without adequate rest, menstrual cycle, the change in the weather, just to name a few.

The National Institutes of Health and the World Health Organization recognizes acupuncture as effective in the treatment of over 40 western medical diseases, disorders and symptoms including migraine pain. Traditional Chinese Medicine and Acupuncture is a safe, effective alternative therapy that can be used for migraine pain. Acupuncture activates the body’s natural healing potential by treating the root causes that have led to the problem or disease. Research shows that acupuncture triggers the body’s own mechanisms for manufacturing and releasing its own pain relieving chemicals. These chemicals are endorphins and dopamines, opioid-like compounds that produce the feeling of well-being and reduces pain.

Acupuncture views each person holistically and individually, no two people are alike. Every cell in a person's body is interconnected to others and functions as part of an integrated whole. In other words, acupuncture treats the whole person, not just parts and pieces. The root causes of a symptom that two people experience may be completely different.

Acupuncture is an effective preventative medicine with no negative side-effects, only positive ones. Acupuncture is a completely natural therapy and works directly with the body's natural processes, not against them. No drugs are ever used. Invasive procedures and drug therapies used in Western treatment may produce undesirable side effects and accumulated toxicity in the body. Acupuncture does not have these side effects. In fact, feeling great is the most commonly reported result.

Compared to some expensive Western medical therapies, treatments and medications, acupuncture is affordable and effective and it may help you avoid further medical expenses and complications down the road when it is used as a primary treatment plan or an adjunct therapy. Acupuncture can also help you make lifestyle changes and prevent future illness.

Acupuncture is an effective form of medical treatment that is a safe, natural, and drug-free and has helped many become well and stay well. At Flashpoint Acupuncture in Quakertown, PA we offer a natural alternative for migraine headaches as well as whole body healing using Traditional Chinese Medicine and Acupuncture.

Acupuncture Can Help Athletes Recover Faster

Acupuncture Can Help Athletes Recover Faster, Flashpoint Acupuncture, Quakertown, PA in Quakertown, PAInjury is the most dreaded possibility for athletes, amateur or professional. The down time waiting for the wounds to heal can be mind-numbing and infuriating. And when you finally think that you’re ready to get back in the ring, you’re back in top health, your injury may flare up again keeping you from performing your best. This has caused athletes and athletic doctors and physical therapists to search for better ways to treat injuries incurred during the sport and faster ways to heal. Recent studies have lent credence to the belief among athletes that acupuncture can help you recover faster from athletic injury. Research included a test with three groups: a control group which received acupuncture, another group which received sham acupuncture and a third which received neither. The study tested the subject’s heart rate, oxygen consumption and blood lactic acid as signifiers of the health of the athlete’s performance. The acupuncture group tested better in all three categories. Further tests are in the works to truly pin point the efficacy of acupuncture on athletic injury but preliminary results are promising as they substantiate a previously, widely-held belief of many athletes.

Friselina Locadia offers Acupuncture in Quakertown, PAFlashpoint Acupuncture, Quakertown, PA in Quakertown, PAAcupuncture Can Help Athletes Recover Faster, Flashpoint Acupuncture, Quakertown, PA in Quakertown, PA

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Your Ear? Sure, I’ll Take It!

Your Ear? Sure, I’ll Take It!, Flashpoint Acupuncture, Quakertown, PA in Quakertown, PACristina walked into my office and told me she kicked the smoking habit, stopped drinking coffee and, since she wasn’t much of a drinker, stopped drinking as well. “I need help detoxing” she explained. The challenge, however, is that she is afraid of needles and has never had acupuncture before. “So, what can you do for me?” she asked.

I showed Cristina the needles - sterile, hair thin, and disposable. As I explained, I watched her flinch at the very idea. So I asked her, “If you have one part of the body that you would give to me which body part would that be?” She said she would give me her ear and that she only has 30 minutes to spare.

Auricular Acupuncture is a form of alternative medicine based on the idea that the ear is a microcosm of the body, so there are points in the ears that reflect all of the body's functions and organs. It is a very powerful and exact method to analyze and treat just about any health problem.

Auricular Acupuncture is best known as an effective tool to suppress appetite (weight loss) and to relieve withdrawal symptoms from alcohol, drugs and nicotine addiction. However, auricular acupuncture is also an extremely powerful method for pain relief and can also be used to treat various musculo-skeletal problems, allergies, headaches, irritability, stress and many other conditions.

Small, fine needles are inserted in specific locations on the ears. Each treatment lasts approximately 20 to 30 minutes. Manual pressure is also used or a small pellet or seed can be placed at specific points on the ear. The pellets are left on the ears for you to press and stimulate the acupuncture points between treatments.

Auricular acupuncture has been used all around the world at battlefields for injured soldiers, in disaster areas for post traumatic stress, and for substance abuse. The benefits are amazing, it can help to: promote detoxification, especially when you’ve kicked an addiction, reduce cravings, reduce withdrawal symptoms, reduce stress, anxiety and irritability, and promote a sense of well-being and relaxation.

So, if all you’re willing to give is an ear and 30 minutes….I’ll take it!

Friselina Locadia, L.Ac