One of the frustrating things about "selling" acupuncture to clients is that it does not work as quickly as taking a Lortab - you have to be patient and diligent in the treatment to see long lasting results. The good (and bad) news in complementary medicine is that people typically come to us as a last resort and willing to do almost anything for relief. Back pain is always in the top 3 of reasons why people come to see me. The inevitable question "how long until I see results" typically arises during the initial phone conversation, and it would seem that my "speech" mimics that of the one below.
Thursday, December 7, 2006
Alternative Medicine: Acupuncture treats low back pain
Low back pain is one of the most common health complaints in the country today, and acupuncture can be a very effective method of treatment. Typically, several acupuncture treatments are required to get rid of the problem, depending upon the length of time the problem has persisted, its severity, patient age and any complicating factors.
In Chinese medicine, pain is the result of a blockage to the flow of energy or blood. Once the normal flow of energy and blood is re-established with acupuncture, pain disappears. A trained acupuncturist has a variety of methods and tools to use to achieve this goal.
In the case of low back pain typically the acupuncturist first identifies the specific blocked acupuncture channels. Acupuncture is commonly applied to the site of the pain and at sites away from the pain that lie along the same channel. The needles usually are retained in the body for 20-30 minutes, after which they are removed and disposed of.
Frequently, relief is experienced right away, though any degree of results can be felt at that time. After a course of several visits, usually four to six if the case is uncomplicated, the problem is frequently resolved or diminished to the extent that acupuncture is no longer needed. When the problem is chronic and has persisted for months or years, it may take longer to resolve.
Before treatment, make sure the acupuncturist is licensed and experienced with your condition.
--Andrew McIntyre, Bastyr Center for Natural Health