By Juliette Aiyana, L.Ac.
A study published on January 23, 2008 by the well respected Cochrane Review showed that anti-depressants do not relieve low back pain despite the fact that about one in four primary care doctors prescribe them for such pain. The anti-depressants did however cause side-effects.
Clinical trials show that acupuncture relieves low back pain without causing side-effects.
According to medicinenet.com, "In an analysis of 33 studies, published in 2005, acupuncture was found to be an effective short-term treatment for low back pain, even when compared with sham treatments using fake acupuncture", says Eric Manheimer, MS, of the Center for Integrative Medicine at the University of Maryland. "Our analysis suggested that the benefits of acupuncture for low back pain are not due to a placebo effect," Manheimer tells WebMD". Check out this video on WebMD that interviews a patient whose back pain was relieved with acupuncture.
How does it work?
There is a saying in Chinese medicine, "Where there is pain, there is no free flow and where there is free flow there is no pain." The free flow is of Blood and Qi (pronounced "chee"). Health is when Qi and Blood flow smoothly throughout the body to nourish, heal and balance.
Your practitioner at Aiyana Acupuncture & Chinese Herbs will spend a considerable amount of time with you during your first visit to discover where your Qi and Blood are stagnated or out of balance and why. The where and why are called a pattern of energetic disharmony. The acupuncture points and herbs chosen are appropriate to balancing your unique pattern of disharmony.
Every person's pain pattern is different, so you will be treated based upon your individual pattern. One pattern may manifest as stagnation of Qi and Blood thus inhibiting flow into or out of the painful area.
A pattern common to chronic pain patients is that there is not enough Qi or Blood to circulate into the affected area which slows or inhibits healing. Therefore the treatment strategy would be to build, nourish and circulate Qi and Blood to that area.
In cases of acute pain, the pattern may be excess Qi and Blood stagnation in the painful area, so your practitioner will insert needles to move out the excess, thus relieving pain. These are just a few common clinical patterns which may cause pain.
How many visits will I need?
Each patient's needs vary according to their pattern of disharmony. However, we often recommend that the patient come in for about 8 visits within a 2-3 week period. Many acute injuries only require about five to eight visits, whereas chronic pain patients will need more treatment. Most patients start to feel relief after the first or second treatment. Your acupuncturist will give you a tailored treatment plan during your first visit.
To learn more about how acupuncture can help your pain read our article Acupuncture: The Natural Pain Reliever.
Call 212-894-0767 for an appointment.
"I've struggled with my weight since I was a child. For the last seven years and, for the first time in my life, I have been successful in losing and keeping off over 60 pounds. I hit plateaus every now and again, but the slow and steady progression of weight loss has been the best solution for me. It's been a long process that involved a lot of changes in my eating habits, but I eventually found something that worked for me: acupuncture, Chinese herbs and Chinese nutritional therapy at Aiyana Acupuncture & Chinese Herbs.
Earlier in this year, I decided to take another big step, and in June 2006 I quit smoking. I was nervous about the risk of weight gain and other withdrawal symptoms, but knew it was time, so I stopped cold turkey. It was not easy and I felt horrible. I was not a heavy smoker (I averaged 2 cigarettes a day) so was very surprised at how significant the physical effects were. I was tired, cranky, constipated and suffering from congestion, sometimes severe, that would worsen after almost every meal. To make matters worse, in August I had what I believed to be an allergic reaction to something I was ate. In addition to the congestion, my feet swelled so much I was unable to get them into my shoes. Making matters worse, I couldn't connect a specific food to the attacks, and the battery of allergy tests performed by my doctor all came back negative.
I was successfully treated for an inner ear problem with acupuncture years earlier so, having exhausted my options with traditional treatments and not wanting to resort to continued steroid use, I decided to try it again. I found the Aiyana Acupuncture & Chinese Herbs on the internet and hit if off with its founder, Juliette Aiyana, L.Ac. on the phone when we first spoke. My first visit was on August 31, 2006. It included a very comprehensive exam and began treatment to rid my body of the remaining toxins from years of smoking and the water retention causing the congestion and swelling.
In addition to an acupuncture session and prescribing herbs, Juliette instructed me to write down everything I ate, which I did diligently for over three weeks. Juliette evaluated my dietary habits and suggested a few minor changes that were compounding my water retention problem. Since making those changes, I've lost weight, noticed a marked increase in my energy level and no longer suffer from congestion.
Before seeking treatment at Aiyana Acupuncture, I was unaware of Chinese medicine's approach to nutrition. Juliette educated me about the different energetic properties of food and the effects it can have on metabolism. I can honestly say that I've never felt better and now find it easier to manage my diet, giving me renewed confidence in my ability to keep off the weight I've lost."
- Fran M. Female, Age 39