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Acupuncture and Pain

"Using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI), researchers have captured pictures of the brain while patients experienced a pain stimulus with and without acupuncture to determine acupuncture's effect on how the brain processes pain." Read about how acupuncture is effective in treating pain in this study at

What is Acupuncture?

What is Acupuncture Chinese Medical Theory: Chinese medicine theorizes that Qi flows in the meridians circulating throughout our exterior and the internal organs. Physical and emotional well-being, which are understood to be intimately connected, depend on free and balanced circulation throughout this system.

Acupuncture points are highly active locations along these meridians which influence Qi circulation and body functions. Modern science, while unable to physiologically explain the meridian system, does observe some remarkable qualities about the points and their actions. A Chinese medical diagnosis will determine which points can best restore a balanced Qi flow and state of health.

Medical Research: Essentially, Qi’s role in acupuncture is to influence the body’s innate abilities in ways intended to improve mental and physical well-being. Exactly how this works has the scientific community searching for a concise explanation. We do know that powerful and complex responses occur throughout the body during acupuncture, and clinical studies demonstrate unequivocally that many conditions benefit from acupuncture treatment.

Research shows a cascade of physiological effects take place during acupuncture. The response includes: increased multilevel brain activity, widespread neurotransmitter changes, immune and hormonal balance, improved local circulation, decreased inflammatory reaction, autonomic regulation of involuntary functions such as digestive, respiratory, endocrine, circulatory systems, and more.

Benefits: Numerous conditions that have proven resistant to conventional treatment respond positively to acupuncture. While a broad range of painful conditions can be alleviated or improved rapidly with acupuncture, disorders which have existed over time typically require continued treatment. The World Health Organization lists over forty common conditions which can be treated effectively. Among these are:

Acupuncture's proven ability to alleviate pain, reduce inflammation, and stimulate circulation also makes it very effective in speeding recovery from accidents and injuries.

My Practice of Acupuncture: Acupuncture is surprisingly diverse and very personal. Over its 2500-plus year history, this form of medicine has thrived and evolved with changing times, places, and the growth of knowledge. Today it is practiced around the globe and spans a range of approaches from time-honored traditions to modern technical applications. Every practitioner blends his or her individual focus, intention, and training to craft strategies that will be most effective for their patients. I have extensively studied systems based on the earliest acupuncture texts because they give depth to my understanding of acupuncture and yield simple, effective treatments. I am not, however, bound by the past; witness my use of Cold Laser Therapy, which I added to my practice because I found so much convincing, objective evidence of it’s impressive results.

Acupuncture is beneficial for many conditions, and can produce rapid symptomatic relief. Beyond that, the treatments can be a step along the path toward greater overall wellness. Chinese medicine combines complex physical and psychological principles to address health issues on many different levels. I do not treat “conditions” so much as individuals, each presenting with a unique set of symptoms and a life’s trajectory. By always considering the big picture as well as particular symptoms, I often see treatments yield surprising results. Many of my patients experience lasting health improvements as underlying issues resolve and positive changes occur. It is indeed an honor to do this work, and I fill each day with gratitude.