Where does one go when they are stricken with a health concern? If it’s not serious enough to wind up in the emergency room, you’re left with primary care physicians and local walk-in clinics followed by the alternative secondary choices of chiropractic offices and massage studios. Where does acupuncture fall into this lineup? Generally last, after a patient has given everything else a shot. I’ve given my reasons why this might be so in a previous post.
But here I’d like to talk about the merits of acupuncture compared to other medical services. Admittedly I’m biased being an acupuncturist, so this is my unashamed plug for acupuncture.
I believe the scope of practice of an acupuncturist is pretty vast. We’re expected to treat any type of pain condition imaginable from head to toe. People come to us for musculoskeletal problems as well as internal organ and psychological issues. We can treat so many ailments harmlessly with virtually zero side effects, and I believe it comes from both our understanding of how the body’s parts intertwine and the tools we are given: needles.
Needles can be used in the tiniest and deepest of places with the least amount of tissue damage compared to other tools, while still eliciting a response from our brains, nervous and immune systems to heal. This characteristic makes it a safe preempt to surgery. One could argue it’s the least invasive form of surgery. Even a deep tissue massage can produce more pain and tissue damage to a body part that’s already inflamed.
Lastly, with regards to understanding how the body’s parts are interconnected, it’s no longer necessary to further aggravate a body part that already hurts. Acupuncturists spend years studying anatomy to find other ways of manipulating the body’s energies besides going head first into a painful region. Chiropractors have pioneered the method of adjusting the vertebrae of our spines to clear the nerve paths to the peripheral nervous systems as well as our organs. Is it that much of a stretch to argue that acupuncturists are masters of manipulating the peripheral nervous system to elicit effects on muscles and organs?