Energy moves throughout the body through a series of circuits. Each circuit, or meridian, is related to one or more of the internal organs, which, in turn, affect certain emotions and pathologies. By stimulating and balancing these meridians through particular acupoints, acupuncture helps create internal balance amongst all systems. It has the power to trigger a cascade of biochemical reflex reactions that stimulate vascular, immune, and endocrine function and connective tissue repair. It can reduce inflammation, and promote circulation and tissue healing. It can inhibit pain responses in the brain—bringing natural pain relief, and helping to "rewire" faulty neurological and pathological responses.
Beyond the physical benefits, acupuncture can also correct more subtle imbalances such as those caused by stress. Acupuncture can restore the flow of energy that may have become blocked by anxiety or tension. Gentle stimulation of distinct points can release powerful endorphins that calm the nervous system and promote a parasympathetic response. This helps the body re-establish a sense of ease wherein healing can begin.
The result can be reduced pain, increased range of motion and flexibility, better organ function, optimal blood and lymph flow, a renewed sense of calm and wellbeing, and improved sleep.
What to expect
For most people, acupuncture is a relaxing, pleasant, even exhilarating experience. The needles are extremely thin strands of sterile stainless steel—about the thickness of a human hair—and disposable, meaning each needle is used just once. When administered by a Licensed Acupuncturist (L.Ac.), it is quite safe.
Before placing any needles, Jamie will explain the treatment plan and answer any questions or concerns. She will walk through the process step by step, discuss any potential risks or side effects, and only proceed once you are comfortable. She will then gently place a number of needles at strategic points along the meridians, the body’s energy "superhighways." Once needles are placed, you may feel sensations of warmth, heaviness, or a subtle ache—similar to a deep massage—around the needle. Needles are typically left in place for about 30-45 minutes while you rest comfortably.
Pain relief, Structural Stability, Trigger point therapy
Orthopedic acupuncture can provide lasting relief from pain that doesn't respond to other forms of treatment.
Through Western orthopedic diagnostic testing, Jamie will first pinpoint the anatomical structures involved in the pain pattern, and and the myo-fascial pathways affected. She may then use a combination of techniques, often including trigger point therapy (similar to dry needling) to release the muscle in spasm, or to break up chronic knots, scar tissue, or myo-fascial adhesions. Stimulation of trigger points with an acupuncture needle will create a myotatic "twitch" that causes the muscle to contract, then release. The response can be lasting relief from chronic pain and tension.
Following an injury or repetitive strain, tendons and ligaments can become stretched out or overly lax. This can often cause weakness or instability of the joint structure involved, with subsequent pain and tension from nearby muscles that are trying to compensate for the instability at hand. Because ligamentous tissue does not have an abundance of blood flow like muscles do, it often will not heal or tighten back up on its own. With orthopedic style acupuncture, we can help to induce blood flow to the tissue, using a deliberate stimulation and irritation of the connective tissue, in order to induce a recoil, or tightening effect. The technique can result in greater stability of the joint, and allow the tight or spasmed muscles around the joint to 'let go.' This technique might be likened to prolo-therapy, in its ability to stabilize a weakened, unstable joint. One might call this healing modality: "prolo-acupuncture," as it can actually restore stability and eliminate pain. The result is often relief from the chronic tension that may have been pulling on joints and bones for years, on account of the underlying structural instability.
What to Expect
Acupuncture needles will be inserted into trigger points where musculature has become tight and adhered or into the joint structures that need more stability. With trigger point therapy, she may also gently grip a tight or adhered muscle to locate the band of tension, and then stimulate it with the needle, which will then cause the muscle to twitch, and then immediately relax.
As a patient, you may experience some momentary discomfort, such as a dull ache, as the muscle releases. You may also have some muscle stiffness or soreness following the treatment, like that experienced in the day or two after a good workout. But then you will likely enjoy lasting pain relief!