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Acupuncture, Acupressure and Related Treatments

Acupuncture Treatments for Pain Relief

Medical Acupuncture

Developed in China some 3,000 years ago, acupuncture has seen many modern applications. The treatment involves the insertion of needles at certain locations on the body, so-called "acupoints" that correspond to the many different ways a human body functions internally. Acupuncture adopted many new technologies during the 20th century, including the use of electrified needles, and during that same period came into wide acceptance by the rest of the world. It is today employed in conjunction with Western medical practices and on its own can be used in treating physical pain and such internal disorders as colic and asthma. Its long span of use shows the value of acupuncture in helping those in all walks of life.

The classical Chinese explanation on how Acupuncture works is that channels of energy, called meridians, are like rivers flowing through the body to irrigate and nourish the tissues. An obstruction in the movement of these energy rivers is like a dam that backs up the flow in one part of the body and restricts it in others.

The meridians can be influenced by needling the acupuncture points; the acupuncture needles establish the regular flow through the meridians, unblock the obstructions at the dams and re-establish the regular flow through the meridians. Acupuncture treatments can therefore help the body's internal organs to correct imbalances in their digestion, absorption, and energy production activities, and in the circulation of their energy through the meridians.

The modern scientific explanation is that needling the acupuncture points stimulates the nervous system to release chemicals in the muscles, spinal cord, and the brain. These chemicals will either change the experience of pain or they will trigger the release of other chemicals and hormones which influence the body's own internal regulating system.

The improved energy and biochemical balance produced by acupuncture results in stimulating the body's natural healing abilities and in promoting physical and emotional well-being.

Are there any side effects to the treatment?
Usually not. As energy is redirected in the body, internal chemicals and hormones are stimulated and healing begins to take place. Occasionally the original symptoms worsen for a few days, or other general changes in appetite, sleep, bowel, or urination patterns, or emotional state may be triggered. These should not cause concern, as they are simply indications that the acupuncture is starting to work. It is quite common with the first one or two treatments to have a sensation of deep relaxation or even mild disorientation immediately following the treatment. These pass with a very short time, and never require anything more than a little bit of rest to overcome.

Is acupuncture covered by health insurance?
Some insurance companies currently cover acupuncture costs, other companies do not yet recognize the value of acupuncture. Each health policy must be reviewed to determine acupuncture benefits. The AAMA is working to inform insurance companies and the public in order to standardize payment practices and accessibility to this type of treatment. You can help by insisting that your insurance company offer you reimbursement for medically indicated acupuncture treatments before you accept their policies.

Additional Treatments

Healing Bone Breaks with Acupuncture

Bone Healing

Broken and fractured bones can be treated with acupuncture along with western medical practices. The physiology of bone healing involves many factors including inflammatory cytokines bone building osteoblast cells and a plethora of hormones, amino acids and other nutrients. Acupuncture treatment of broken or fractured bones should begin immediately because the first phase of healing starts with inflammation around the break site. Acupuncture can help reduce swelling and promote the influx of cytokine repair cells into the fracture gap or break site and accelerate the normal healing time. Acupuncture is also effective on bone breaks or fractures that do not seem to be healing and can help energize the cytokine repair cells that are responsible for kick starting the bone healing process.

Korean Hand Therapy

Korean Hand Therapy

Often known as KHT, Korean hand therapy is a modern adaptation of the ancient practice of acupuncture. Differing from body acupuncture, KHT concentrates on stimulation of the hands rather than the entire body in treating pain or other health conditions. Developed in the early 1970s, KHT is based on the theory that certain points on the hands correspond to other parts of the body. The stimulation of the hands will thus resolve various health issues and help bring about improved physiological functioning. The actual treatment is accomplished with the use of small needles or such devices as metal pellets. Laser and infrared light systems can also be incorporated into KHT treatment. Since it employs the same principles as body acupuncture, KHT can be used in treating the same types of pain and health problems as acupuncture. NOTE: KHT can be performed without the use of needles and instead pressure points are stimulated with the silver or gold pellets.

KHT is done without the use of needles but it employs the same principles as body acupuncture when stimulating the "meridians" of energy found throughout the body. The stimulation can be accomplished by hand or through small devices with gold or silver points that do not penetrate the skin. Also born in Asia, acupressure has actually been in existence for a longer period of time than body acupuncture. Acupressure has shown to be effective in dealing with such conditions as headaches and lower back pain, and is ideal for children or anyone who fears needles.

Auricular Acupuncture - Acupuncture of the Ear

Auricular Acupuncture

Medically known as auriculotherapy, auricular acupuncture is based on the principle that the ear is a microcosm of the body. The treatment is performed on the outer portion of the ear, known as the auricle, in a manner that is otherwise similar to acupuncture. The tiny needles are inserted into the auricle and, occasionally, in other parts of the body. Auricular acupuncture was developed in France in the 1950s and is today used to bring about relief in a number of ways. The specific health problems treated this way include pain, allergies and addictions.


Wound or skin ulser treatment

Every year across the U.S. there are close to 40 million people who suffer some form of skin lesion, insect bite, ulser or burn. In some of these cases there are certain factors that compromise the bodies ability to heal on its own or with the standard Western medical treatments. In these cases, therapies such as acupuncture and acupressure can be used to compliment standard treatments and help stimulate healing in the area around the wound, lesion or burn. In some severe cases acupuncture needles are placed in the proper locations around the wound and stimulated with an electrical current. (Electricity can NOT be used on individuals who have experienced seizures or epilepsy or individuals who have pace makers or any heart conditions because it is contraindicated and could be harmful to the patient.) This treatment has been proven in medical studies to have a positive effect on wound contracture and healing. The electrical current helps stimulate and increase the blood supply in the area around the wound site and direclty in the wound site. (1,2) Increased blood flow around the wound and directly inside of the wound, directly impacts the healing process, driving vital blood cells and nutrients to the site and giving the body the ability to heal naturally.

You can actually see visible changes in the wound by the end of your FIRST TREATMENT. For the majority of patients treated, only four acupuncture needles are used. All needles used by Dr. Swing are one time use only - disposable needles.

The healing time and care involved varies, depending on the size of the wound (ulcers), age and health of the patient and the amount of blood flow to the wound.

1. Reich JD, Tarjan PP. Electrical stimulation of skin. Int J Dermatol 1990;29:395-401.
2. Stromberg BV. Effects of electrical currents on wound healing. J Plastic Surgery 1988;21:121-123.

Extreme Case Histories

Pain Management


Based on studies over the past 30 years, researchers have shown that acupuncture affects multiple biological systems in the human body. When an acupuncture needle is inserted or when an acupressure point is stimulated, certain receptors are disabled and anti-inflammatory chemicals are released. There is a direct correlation between the effect of acupuncture and acupressure on the nervous system and the body responds to treatment by releasing endorphins according to the National Institute of Health NIH. These endorphins help relieve pain and reduce swelling in tissues and promotes blood flow.

Acupuncture and Acupressure are being used as an acceptable alternative or complimentary way to treat pain and a multitude of disorders. Including but not limited to the items listed to the right.

"The applications for acupuncture are endless ... people use it for sports injuries, for their emotional well-being, for everything,"

Peter Wayne, PhD, Director of Research at the New England School of Acupuncture

All of the information on this website including text and images are meant for informational purposes only. They are not meant to diagnose or treat any medical condition and are not meant to be a substitute for professional medical advice. Always ask your primary physician or other qualified health care provider about any medical condition you might be experiencing.

    In an official report, "Acupuncture: Review and Analysis of Reports on Controlled Clinical Trials", the World Health Organization (WHO) has listed the following symptoms, diseases and conditions that have been shown through controlled trials to be treated effectively by acupuncture:

  • ➣ Chemotherapy
  • ➣ Dental pain
  • ➣ Fibromyalgia
  • ➣ Headaches
  • ➣ Labor pain
  • ➣ Low back pain
  • ➣ Neck pain
  • ➣ Osteoarthritis
  • ➣ Menstrual cramps
  • ➣ Migraines
  • ➣ Common Cold
  • ➣ Tennis Elbow
  • ➣ Motion Sickness
  • ➣ Insomnia
  • ➣ Hot Flashes
  • ➣ Sciatica
  • ➣ Rheumatoid Arthritis
  • ➣ Nausea and Vomiting
  • ➣ Essential Hypertension
  • ➣ Primary Hypotension
  • ➣ Renal Colic
  • ➣ Acute and Chronic Gastritis


Brown recluse spider bite treatment
Diabetic Non healing Skin Ulcer