Kraus Back & Neck Institute: 281.446.3876(281.44.Neuro)

Treatment

Acupuncture

Acupuncture is an alternative therapy that originated in ancient China. The success of acupuncture has moved from East to West. Treatment involves inserting very fine needles into specific points on the body called Meridians. There are 365 acupuncture points mapped along 12 major Channels.  More than 1,000 points are found on your hands, ears and scalp!

Acupuncture is associated with Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM). TCM practice may include Chinese herbs, and moxibustion, cupping, and/or Tui Na.

Qi, your energy force

The theory of acupuncture hypothesizes that Qi—pronounced chee—is your energy force. Ideally, Qi flows freely through your body’s meridians and channels. When Qi flows freely, it is believed health prospers. If the flow of Qi is disrupted or stopped, the body is not in balance, and it is theorized that physical and/or mental problems can develop. Yin and Yang are terms you may have heard that refer to the balance of your body’s inner workings.

Yin and Yang are related to your body’s meridians and channels.

  • Yin organs: heart, liver, lungs, kidneys and spleen
  • Yang organs: small and large intestines, stomach, gallbladder and bladder

Who performs acupuncture?

A licensed acupuncturist has received educational credentials in the mastery of Traditional Chinese Medicine, Oriental Medicine, and/or Acupuncture. The acronym, DOM means Doctor of Oriental Medicine.

How does it work?

Acupuncture helps restore the flow of Qi and stimulate the body to heal itself. Acupuncture can be used to treat acute and chronic pain. Is it possible that carefully placed needles can reduce pain?  It is thought that acupuncture stimulates endorphin secretion. Endorphins are your body’s natural pain relievers.  It is further believed that a health Qi flow improves blood and lymph circulation.

Is it painful?

Acupuncture needles are thinner than hypodermic needles. The needles are sterile, single-use, and disposable. Your acupuncturist chooses the type of needle based on your diagnosis.  Some needles are longer than others and may differ in shaft size and head shape. You may feel sensations as each needle is inserted or manipulated during therapy, but most patients report acupuncture is not painful.  The technique used to insert each needle is as important as where it is placed.

Acupuncture techniques

  • Electro-acupuncture may be performed to relieve musculoskeletal pain.  Small electrical impulses are delivered through one or more acupuncture needles.
  • Moxibustion involves burning a medicinal herb called mugwort to heat the acupuncture point.  It may help relieve arthritis or muscle pain.
  • Cupping involves placing a therapeutic glass cup(s) over the acupuncture point(s) and heating to create vacuum suction over acupuncture points.
  • Tui Na is Chinese massage performed after acupuncture to enhance treatment effects.

Is acupuncture for you?

Your doctor may recommend acupuncture as part of your regular treatment plan or pain management program. Traditional Chinese Medicine approaches the causes of neck and back pain differently than Western medicine. You may view acupuncture as a very different or odd treatment modality. However, it has helped many patients with back pain-it may help you too!

Gary Kraus, MD,
Neurosurgeon, is Board Certified
Meet Gary Kraus, MD
Masaki Oishi, MD,
Spine Fellowship at the University
Meet Gary Kraus, MD
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