Acupuncture - Santa Barbara's Most Accessible Healing Solution

By Tona Marquez on Apr 08, 2015 at 03:01 PM in Santa Barbara Acupuncture
Acupuncture - Santa Barbara's Most Accessible Healing Solution
Master Tung Acupuncture

The American Academy of Medical Acupuncture, National Institute of Health (NIH), and the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine (NCCAM) published a thorough article for patients interested in acupuncture. Here are some highlights with my insights from this article.

Acupuncture is one of the oldest, most commonly used Alternative Medicines in Santa Barbara and the World

Chinese physicians began to formally theorize on how acupuncture works about 3,000 years ago. Acupuncture and similar treatments may have been used for hundreds if not thousands of years before Chinese physicians began writing these theories on what is now called Traditional Chinese Medicine. And it is of little wonder that Chinese physicians used Chinese philosophy to explain why acupuncture works. Chinese philosophy was commonly used to explain how everything in the world worked at that time. This philosophy looks at similarities and interconnections between changes in nature, changes in people, and well, changes in everything; with particular focus on balance, symmetry, sequences of events and numbers, and characteristics of animals, forces of nature and elements of nature. One could say that Chinese philosophy is based on personal observations of the world around us.

Acupuncture, commonly misunderstood Alternative Healing

Acupuncture theories are theories. Like Chinese philosophy, Acupuncture theories are based on personal observations. I believe this is a major reason why science and scientific research has had difficulty proving acupuncture theories.

"Traditional Chinese medicine theorizes that the more than 2,000 acupuncture points on the human body connect with 12 main and 8 secondary pathways, called meridians. Chinese medicine practitioners believe these meridians conduct energy, or qi, between the surface of the body and internal organs."

"Western scientists have found meridians hard to identify because meridians do not directly correspond to nerve or blood circulation pathways. Some researchers believe that meridians are located throughout the body's connective tissue; others do not believe that qi exists at all. Such differences of opinion have made acupuncture a source of scientific controversy."

Meridians are theoretical. They are not substantial. Meridians explain why acupuncture works based on hundreds of thousands of personal observations and on Chinese philosophical concepts of symmetry, balance and interconnection.

Acupuncture, helping millions of Americans get relief

Acupuncture has been recommended for a variety of medical condition. Millions of patients in the U.S. have personal experience using acupuncture to help them get relief and heal. In Santa Barbara, I treat on average 50 to 65 patients a week and hence have gained experience in treating a wide variety of conditions and illnesses with acupuncture.

"According to an NIH consensus panel of scientists, researchers, and practitioners who convened in November 1997, clinical studies have shown that acupuncture is an effective treatment for nausea caused by surgical anesthesia and cancer as well as for dental pain experienced after surgery. The panel also found that acupuncture is useful by itself or combined with conventional therapies to treat addiction, headaches, menstrual cramps, tennis elbow, fibromyalgia, myofascial pain, osteoarthritis, lower back pain, carpal tunnel syndrome, and asthma; and to assist in stroke rehabilitation."

Acupuncture, a Complementary Medicine

I frequently treat patients in Santa Barbara who find acupuncture helps them respond better to their prescription medications. Patient I treat also comment on their ability to cut back on pain medication use when they receive frequent acupuncture treatments.

"Increasingly, acupuncture is complementing conventional therapies. For example, doctors may combine acupuncture and drugs to control surgery related pain in their patients. By providing both acupuncture and certain conventional anesthetic drugs, doctors have found it possible to achieve a state of complete pain relief for some patients. They also have found that using acupuncture lowers the need for conventional pain-killing drugs and thus reduces the risk of side effects for patients who take the drugs."

Acupuncture, top Alternative Medicine for Pain

Pain is still the most frequent complaint of patients who come to see me. And luckily for them acupuncture continues to be the top Alternative Medicine for pain relief.

"Currently, one of the main reasons Americans seek acupuncture treatment is to relieve chronic pain, especially from conditions such as arthritis or lower back disorders. Some clinical studies show that acupuncture is effective in relieving both chronic (long-lasting) and acute or sudden pain, but other research indicates that it provides no relief from chronic pain. Additional research is needed to provide definitive answers."

Santa Barbara Acupuncture affordable choice for pain relief and Alternative Healing

"Generally, treatment may take place over a few days or several weeks. The cost per treatment typically ranges between $30 and $100 but it may be more. Physician acupuncturists may charge more than nonphysician practitioners."

Luckily for my patients, frequent acupuncture treatment is financially not out of their reach. I offer acupuncture on a $45-$70 sliding scale, allowing more patients to feel better, get better and stay better. 

How do you know if acupuncture is right for you? The best way to find out is to come in for a few visits and give your body and mind a chance to feel the changes acupuncture can do for you.