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Acupuncture Center of Richmond

(804) 754-5108

Voted Best Alternative Health Center in Richmond and Central Virginia SIX years in a row by Style Weekly and Virginia Living Magazine.

Current SPECIALS: PAIN and WEIGHT LOSS. Click above for details.

At the Acupuncture Center of Richmond we are experienced in treating a wide variety of conditions. The following list of conditions are some of the ones we see regularly in our practice. This is an ongoing list, meaning it is not complete, so if your condition is not covered below please give us a call and we can discuss whether or not we have experience treating the condition as well as any treatment options. With Chinese medicine, because there are many methods of treatment developed over many millenium, there are often many options for treatment. Because the medicine is holistic, one or several conditions can be treated simultaneously.

Achilles tendonitis

Tendonitis is a condition that can be tough to get rid of. The main reason for this is that tendon tissue naturally does not get a great supply of blood. Because of this, when a tendon is injured, it often does not heal as fast as tissue that gets a ready supply of healing blood. So why choose acupuncture to help heal your tendonitis? Acupuncture by its very nature increases the circulation to the area being treated. We supplement this with specific ointments or poltices, tuina massage or mild electric stimulation to further promote blood flow to the area. I have found in my practice that tendonitis responds well to treatments. So a few acupuncture treatments often will significantly speed the healing process and help you get rid of your tendonitis.

Acne/skin disorders

Skin disorders often respond better to Chinese medicine than to Western treatments. One reason for this is that Eastern medicine realizes that skin disorders are rarely due to problems with the skin. Most if not all of the skin conditions that we see are due to internal conditions manifesting on the skin. So it is essential to fix the internal condition that is causing the skin issue or, even if the condition goes away, it will usually return. Because Chinese medicine focuses on the root of the problem and Western medicine usually focuses on the symptom, we feel that we can more effectively treat most skin conditions. We do this usually with a combination of acupuncture and Chinese herbs. Most skin conditions will respond significantly to treatment fairly quickly, so we should know in a matter of a couple of treatments if this will be effective. There are some effective herbal supplements for skin disorders. Also, it is important to keep in mind that skin disorders are often illness at a more superficial level in the body. If left untreated, or if the root is not addressed, these illnesses can and often do go deeper, where they are often serious and harder to dislodge.

Acute Injury and Trauma

This is an area where acupuncture and Chinese medicine shines. When trauma or injury has taken place there is an immediate response by the body which sends help to the damaged area to swell and immobilize the area and also begin the healing process. Often there is a traffic jam of sorts in the area and the advantage of getting acupuncture during this early stage is that acupuncture and herbs administered will allow for a smooth flow through the area. This reduces swelling and allows the healing process to take place in a sped-up manner. We see this all the time in the clinic, that acute injuries that often will take several weeks to heal, are healed in half the time. There are several effective Chinese herbal formulas that continue the healing process between treatments. Also, we will sometimes use some light cupping or moxibustion in the area to stimulate healing. It is best to start acupuncture and herbs as soon as possible after an injury, but it is also effective several days or even weeks after the trauma if the injury does not seem to be healing as fast as it should or if you just want to accelerate the process. Getting acupuncture and herbs also seems to help the healing process complete itself, meaning it is more likely that there will be no lasting effects from the injury.

Allergies

Using Chinese medicine to treat allergies became an important part of our practice soon after we started to practice in the Richmond area. This is because allergies here are as bad or worse than any other part of the country. Allergies can be thought of as an overreaction of our immune system to allergens in our environment. In Chinese medical theory this overreaction corresponds to an imbalance in the energies of the body. An acupuncture treatment, by definition, works to correct these imbalances. Our patients usually see a positive change after just a couple of treatments for allergies. We also have some very effective Chinese herbal formulas that safely treat any remaining symptoms, while the acupuncture treats the underlying cause. One advantage to treating your allergies with Chinese medicine is that there are no side effects. Most antihistamines and prescription medications as well as over the counter ones have side effects ranging from increase in appetite to increased risk of dementia.

Anxiety and Stress

One of the most effective applications of acupuncture and Chinese medicine is in the treatment of anxiety and stress. If you have ever had an acupuncture treatment for anything else than you will know that acupuncture causes a deep relaxation to happen. And this deep relaxation is something that you will usually carry with you for the remainder of the day or even multiple days. From a Western perspective this might be due to the release of endorphins, or perhaps a relaxing of the sympathetic nervous system (our fight or flight response which is often activated in our modern world of unrelenting stimulus). From an Eastern perspective, the reason it works so well for anxiety is that it causes the energy in your body to flow more freely. We believe that there needs to be a constant and smooth flow of energy (and blood and fluids) around the body, and anxiety can cause this not to happen. Anxiety causes a tightening of the tissues and a situation where energy and fluids do not flow smoothly. This flow is responsible for keeping the body healthy and pain free and over a long time, anxiety can lead to chronic illness or pain. Anxiety is recognized in Western medicine as well as a cause of chronic illness. So acupuncture is so effective for anxiety and stress conditions because it is simply the best thing out there that naturally brings better flow and relaxation to the body. The relaxation that it brings feels very natural, almost like something you lost that you once had many years ago. So the mechanisms that cause anxiety are lessened with the first acupuncture treatment and over some time will cause a permanent change to the body's reaction to stress. Treating the root cause in the body is something quite unique to Chinese medicine, looking not only at the symptoms, but asking why the body is producing the symptoms at the degree to which it is. There are many Chinese herbal formulas (as well as some Tibetan ones we use) that are very effective in treating anxiety and these are used between treatments to reduce anxiety and stress and also to treat any underlying organ weakness (root cause) that might be contributing to it.

Arthritis

Arthritis pain usually responds extremely well to acupuncture and Chinese herbal therapy. Arthritis in our medicine can have several causes and can affect various parts of the body and so the approach we take will be different for each patient. We find this individualized treatment to be both essential and effective, since we are all different and everyone responds somewhat differently to therapy. Arthritis patients will usually find that they feel better after just one or in some cases a couple of treatments. It is important, however, to treat not only the painful symptoms but at the same time to find and treat the underlying cause of the arthritis. Sometimes the underlying cause can be a weakness in the body, or perhaps a structural or postural problem. If the cause of the arthritis is treated than the person can be truly healed of the ailment. If just the pain is treated than the underlying cause may actually worsen and over time the pain might spread or worsen. This is a very important distinction between the Eastern and the Western approach to arthritis and many illnesses. Often in Western medicine, the pain is treated with steroids or other pain killers, the pain may lessen while the actual disease mechanism marches on, untouched. Chinese herbs and diet are also effective in reducing pain and treating the root cause of the arthritis and proper exercise is important. Any postural abnormalities must also be addressed if true healing of the arthritis can occur; if we have neck pain for instance and we carry our head forward and down, we are fighting gravity itself, which usually wins. Using Chinese medicine to treat arthritis pain gives us many options. It is important to stop the pain, but it is equally important to stop the reason it began in the first place.

Back Pain

Our patients usually get significant relief from their back pain after the first treatment. This is perhaps a bold statement but one we feel can back up. The reason for this is that we almost always will use acupuncture in combination with cupping therapy. This one-two punch will often achieve quick and usually lasting results.The key to our success is experience, treating back pain often several times a day over a decade.

Bell's Palsy

Bell's Palsy is a condition that traditionally responds extremely well to Acupuncture. In fact many physicians recommend that their patients with the condition get acupuncture. With Bell's Palsy it is important to start treatment as soon as possible. Bell's Palsy seems to be one of those conditions that can often get entrenched, and the longer you wait the the tougher it can be to resolve. However even patients who have had the condition for a year or more can see significant improvement, it just takes longer. Most of our recent onset patients see marked improvement after just a couple of visits. We also have several traditional herbal formulas that can hasten recovery.

Bronchitis/Repiratory Issues

Most of the respiratory issues we see in our clinic are acute upper respiratory conditions. These are often quite easy to treat using a combination of acupuncture and the right Chinese herbal formula. There are several herbal formulas that have been used for centuries for this specific type of infection, and we find that they are some of our more effective formulas. A couple of treatments and a few days of Chinese herbs can knock out a respiratory infection. We also see a good deal of patients who have chronic respiratory issues. These start out as acute conditions but because of some weakness or deficiency in the body they do not go away. These issues can be tough to get rid of, and the key is to address the underlying body weakness, not just the symptoms. Western treatments usually just treat the symptoms while the underlying cause actually gets worse. If the condition is to be cured the cause must be addressed.

Bronchitis/Repiratory Issues

Most of the respiratory issues we see in our clinic are acute upper respiratory conditions. These are often quite easy to treat using a combination of acupuncture and the right Chinese herbal formula. There are several herbal formulas that have been used for centuries for this specific type of infection, and we find that they are some of our more effective formulas. A couple of treatments and a few days of Chinese herbs can knock out a respiratory infection. We also see a good deal of patients who have chronic respiratory issues. These start out as acute conditions but because of some weakness or deficiency in the body they do not go away. These issues can be tough to get rid of, and the key is to address the underlying body weakness, not just the symptoms. Western treatments usually just treat the symptoms while the underlying cause actually gets worse. If the condition is to be cured the cause must be addressed.

Bursitis

Treating pain six days a week for over a decade, bursitis is one condition that we see often. We usually treat bursitis of the elbow, shoulder, hip, knee, or sometimes the Achilles tendon. It is a diagnosis often given for joint pain. The standard treatment for this in Western medicine is one or several cortisone shots. Sometimes this can help, but often it is just a temporary fix, and one that has shown to be damaging to the joint and surrounding tissue. A 2010 study published in the Lancet and reported on in the New York Times found that "cortisone shots impeded full recovery" and "people receiving multiple injections may be at risk for greater damage (cortisone study)." Acupuncture has been shown to be an effective treatment for bursitis which has no risk of side effects and no risk of damage to the joint. I usually will do acupuncture on the effected joint along with some Chinese herbal ointments to apply between visits. Our results with this condition are usually very good.

Chemo/Radiation side effects

Acupuncture and herbal medicine is an extremely effective way to reduce the negative side effects from chemotherapy and/or radiation treatments. We have patients who will come in for a treatment immediately after a chemo or radiation session and they tell us that the side effects are greatly lessened or eliminated, and their recovery time is reduced, in many cases by several days. Chemo and radiation is very hard on the body's life force something that we call Qi. One of the main things that acupuncture does is protect this energy that is essential to the body's well being. Certain organs can be damaged by cancer treatments, especially detoxifying organs like the kidneys and liver. Acupuncture and herbs are especially good at strengthening and protecting these organs. I believe that one of the essential things you can do for yourself during cancer treatment is to get regular acupuncture treatments and take Chinese herbal formulations.

Chronic Fatigue Syndrome

Chronic fatigue syndrome or CFS can have many varied symptoms and often is of unknown etiology. I often tell my patients, that if something unusual (in that western medicine doesn't really know wYhat to do with it) is going on with your health, than you should always go to an acupuncturist. I say this because quite often things that are confusing to a western doc will be something that we treat daily. This is because Chinese medicine looks at things from a different angle, a different perspective than that of western medicine. So its often refreshing to go to your acupuncturist for a second opinion (or tenth opinion) and she gives you a diagnosis that has been treated in Chinese medicine for literally centuries. Because we break down illness into patterns of imbalance, we strip away the label of disease and treat instead the underlying cause, the imbalance. Specifically in regard to CFS, acupuncture is a very good fit, because acupuncture works with the energy (or Qi) of the body. Acupuncture is all about getting your energy balanced and back.There is also a whole, large class of Chinese herbs whose main purpose is to strengthen the body's energy. And they do so without side effects.

Depression

Acupuncture and herbs can successfully treat situational or long-term depression. In Chinese medicine, there are several causes of depression and the treatments are geared toward your particular imbalance. You are an individual so one pill does not always fit or fix everyone. The results are usually quick if they are going to occur, so there is no being treated for months or years before you feel better. Most people feel some significant change after the first treatment.

Eczema

Eczema is a skin condition that we see quite often in our practice. In general it responds well to acupuncture in combination with the correct herbal formulation. As in most if not all skin conditions eczema must be treated from the inside out. It does little good to treat the skin, as the skin's condition is just the result of an underlying internal imbalance. This is the basis of Chinese medicine to treat the root and thus eliminate the disease.

Fibromyalgia

Fibromyalgia is a medical syndrome often of unknown cause. It can be a complex ailment but it is one that in many cases responds especially well to acupuncture and Chinese medicine. Acupuncture treats the entire body at once, so things that seem to effect just about every part and system in the body, like fibromyalgia does, can benefit greatly. Acupuncture works by bringing the body back into balance, so everything works better. Fibromyalgia patients, for whatever reason, seem to be especially out of balance, and our patients will often tell us, unprompted, that they feel this way (it's often a vague feeling that things are just somehow off). If we don't know the exact cause of something then just bringing the body back into balance will often yield beneficial results for fibromyalgia patients.

Foot/Ankle Pain and Injury Foot/Ankle Pain and Injury

There are 6 main acupuncture meridians that either begin or end in the feet. And some of the strongest points on the body are in this area. So its not surprising that acupuncture can work very well for foot or ankle pain and injury. I have had very good results with many patients having seemingly intractable chronic foot issues. Sprained ankles or bone fractures also will heal much fast after a few acupuncture treatments.

Frozen Shoulder

Frozen shoulder is a condition that we are seeing more and more in our clinic. The shoulder is one of the more vulnerable joints and when it shuts down as it does in frozen shoulder there is a good reason for it to do so - to protect the joint. To get it to loosen up and restore range of motion, you must do the right things. We have developed a method that has shown to work very well in most cases. I do not agree with the current physical therapy exercises that are given. I feel they often make the condition worse. We use acupuncture and cupping in our sessions and sometimes electro-acupuncture, as well as our own set of movement exercises to promote healing. Usually we will recommend a series of 3 treatments and then evaluate the progress. You should be at least 50% better in 3 sessions.

General Pain

Acupuncture is known to be a powerful solution for pain. It works on all pain, from localized pain due to injury or degeneration to all over pain of unknown origin. This is because of how acupuncture works, and how pain works. Simply put, acupuncture unblocks blockages in the body, and where there is pain there is blockage. So an acupuncture treatment, by definition, works on pain, even if you are getting a treatment for depression or fertility. A pain acupuncture treatment however is specifically directed towards pain, and to the specific pain being treated. Pain is one of the main specialties of our clinic and we use acupuncture along with other methods such as cupping and electo-acupuncture to enhance the treatment.

Hand Pain

Hand pain is something that we see surprisingly often in our clinic. One reason is likely because surgery is often the only option offered by regular docs. Much like foot surgery, hand surgery is often not very successful, mainly due to the complexity or our hands (and feet). Cortisone shots are usually temporary and very painful in this area. Acupuncture is really an ideal thing to try for the hand, simply because of the number and strength of acupuncture points in the hand. The strongest, most effective acupuncture points are considered to be those below the the elbows and knees. Because of this we usually see good results in just a few sessions. Acupuncture can restore natural function to the hands.

IBS/IBD (Irritable Bowel Syndrome/Disease)

The National Institute of Health and the World Health Organization identify many conditions that acupuncture can successfully treat that are commonly found in IBS patients; these include abdominal pain, muscle cramps, diarrhea, constipation, anxiety, stress, insomnia and depression. Proper digestion and elimination is of paramount importance in Chinese medicine and considered essential for maintaining health. Because of this, many methods of treatment for digestive disorders have been developed to treat disorders like IBS and IBD. Our approach is to use acupuncture, diet, and herbs to treat the symptoms mentioned above, and also to address any underlying imbalances or weaknesses which make up the root cause of the symptoms. When the root is eliminated, the disease is gone. In our clinic we apply Chinese medical dietary guidelines for our patients with IBS, and often suggest Chinese herbal formulas as supplements. With acupuncture, proper diet, and stress management, most of our patients with IBS can become symptom free in a relatively short time.

Insomnia

Insomnia is something that we treat at the Acupuncture Center of Richmond quite often, as a stand-alone ailment, or often as a symptom combined with other issues. For example, patients with fibromyalgia, anxiety, pain or menopause may also not sleep well. So because we treat many conditions that also include insomnia as a symptom, we have developed many effect treatment strategies for successfully treating insomnia. The Chinese have always considered sleep to be vital to our well being, so in our medicine much emphasis is placed on solving sleep issues. Every patient we see is questioned as to their sleep patterns, because sleep issues can point to important underlying conditions and imbalances. As with any condition in Chinese medicine we are looking for the root of the problem, as treating just the symptoms is not a real solution, only a band-aide. Because there are many causes of insomnia, the points we use and the herbal formulas we suggest will be different for each patient. It is never as simple with us as one size fits all, which is actually a good thing, because we are all different and the best way to get to the underlying issue is to treat everyone as an individual.

Infertility

Acupuncture treats any type of fertility disorder. Acupuncture is often combined with herbs to treat spasmed tubes, elevated follicle stimulating hormone (FSH), repeated pregnancy loss, unexplained (idiopathic) infertility, luteal phase defect, hyperprolactinemia, polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) with annovulatory cycles, and male factors. The exceptions are structural problems that requre surgery such as tubal adhesions which can occur as a result of pelvic inflammatory disease or endometriosis; but in such a situation, an individual could still benefit from acupuncture and herbs because of the potential effect of improved ovarian and follicular function (more).

Irregular Menstruation

Acupuncture and Chinese herbs are very effective in treating irregular menstruation. A variety of causes such as improper diet, hormonal imbalances, emotional factors and stress may be to blame for putting the body out of balance. Acupuncture can address those imbalances which may manifest as unpredictable periods, short periods, excessively long periods or absent periods as well as other symptoms such as heavy bleeding, cramping, spotting between periods. Many women find that after several treatments their periods become more regular, easier to manage and less painful. Ovulatory problems can also be addressed in cases of anovulation.

Knee Pain

An extensive University of Maryland double blind study concluded that acupuncture is effective for knee pain due to osteoarthritis. One Skandinavian study reported that 25 percent of patients in their study canceled their plans for surgery after receiving acupuncture treatments. Because there are many effective acupuncture points around the knees, acupuncture can work well for many knee issues, acute or chronic. We have also had very good results with patients recovering from knee surgery or knee replacement in helping to speed the healing process. In our experience knee surgeries often do not heal quickly but with acupuncture treatments the process is significantly sped up.

Knee Pain

An extensive University of Maryland double blind study concluded that acupuncture is effective for knee pain due to osteoarthritis. One Skandinavian study reported that 25 percent of patients in their study canceled their plans for surgery after receiving acupuncture treatments. Because there are many effective acupuncture points around the knees, acupuncture can work well for many knee issues, acute or chronic. We have also had very good results with patients recovering from knee surgery or knee replacement in helping to speed the healing process. In our experience knee surgeries often do not heal quickly but with acupuncture treatments the process is significantly sped up.

Knots in the back/shoulders/neck

This may not seem like a medical condition, unless you have them. We include this condition because we see it very often and the treatments are so effective in getting them out. The treatment includes acupuncture in nearby acupuncture points and sometimes in trigger points in the area followed by a good cupping session. And like I mentioned the results are immediate and effective. If the treatment is repeated on a weakly basis for just a few weeks, often this problem will go away or diminish greatly. Most of us hold our stress in these areas and over time the muscles, due to tightness, will knot up or even atrophy. The treatments reestablish blood flow to the area.

Knots in the back/shoulders/neck

This may not seem like a medical condition, unless you have them. We include this condition because we see it very often and the treatments are so effective in getting them out. The treatment includes acupuncture in nearby acupuncture points and sometimes in trigger points in the area followed by a good cupping session. And like I mentioned the results are immediate and effective. If the treatment is repeated on a weakly basis for just a few weeks, often this problem will go away or diminish greatly. Most of us hold our stress in these areas and over time the muscles, due to tightness, will knot up or even atrophy. The treatments reestablish blood flow to the area.

Low Energy

Chinese medicine is all about energy, it's energy medicine, and its based on the healing energy of the body called Qi. So its not much of a stretch to realize that we probably have methods for increasing energy in the body. To do this we usually will focus on the energy of the digestion and try and improve that and by doing so increase the overall energy, the energy we feel as we go through our day. So points are used, and perhaps herbs are given which have a tonic effect on the Qi or energy of the body. It is good for our energy and for our overall health, because our energy, in Chinese medicine, is also responsible for our immune system.

Low Back pain

Low back pain is by far the most common type of back pain that we see in our patients. I think if I had to state a sub-specialty under pain, for my practice this would be it. As with most pain, acupuncture is used with cupping afterwards. The difference in treating the low back is that the pain can often originate in the back and travel into the glutes and down either or in some cases both legs. The treatment works best it the entire path of pain is addressed. Also with low back pain, in Chinese medicine we strengthen the kidneys which reside in the lower back and can actually help the treatment progress faster. This is an example of treating the underlying condition and not just the symptoms.

Migraine

Acupuncture and Chinese herbal remedies are a very effective way to control and even eliminate migraines. In my experience, migraines will be diminished in intensity and frequency very soon after starting acupuncture treatment. There are many causes of migraines and it is important to find a proper diagnosis for each patient. Though there are usually some commonalities with migraine sufferers, a 'one size fits all' approach to treating migraine is often not successful. Individual differences must be taken into consideration. With a proper diagnosis in hand, acupuncture, Chinese herbs, food therapy, and often stress management, are used in combination to treat migraines.

Multiple Sclerosis (MS)

Many risk factors are associated with the development of MS but no specific cause has been identified. The symptoms and severity of this disease can vary according to the area of the myelin sheaths that are effected. Acupuncture and Chinese medicine has been shown to lessen the severity of symptoms such as numbness and pain, improve balance and weakness, and reduce the number of flare-ups. The type of acupuncture that has shown to be most effective for MS and the type that we use in our clinic for this condition, is scalp acupuncture. We find that with this specific type of treatment, symptoms improve and quality of life is enhanced. With this therapy results can be especially quick, usually noticeable after the first treatment.

Neck Pain

At the Acupuncture Center of Richmond we see many patients who come to us for neck pain. Neck pain is very common because the neck, compared to many other parts of the body is quite vulnerable. It has the task of holding the heavy human head upright for most of the day. We see neck pain due to trauma, bad posture, due to just a night of sleeping wrong, or chronic neck pain that seems to have no cause at all. Of course there is always some cause, and finding it will help us effectively treat neck pain. Another reason neck pain is so common is because the neck is a place where many people hold their stress (the neck and often the shoulders as well). After many years of holding stress in the neck and shoulders, the blood circulation actually diminishes and the muscles and tissues become undernourished and weak, leading to tiredness, strain and pain. Also, many of us develop bad posture for a number of reasons and this incorrect position of the head will cause the neck muscles to have to work harder just to keep the head upright. There are many things we can do for neck pain. There are many strong and effective acupuncture points in the neck area which we use, but we also use many points called distal points which are not close to the neck that empirical evidence over hundreds of years tells us are effective for helping neck pain. There are several effective Chinese herbal formulas that are specific for neck pain as well as ointments that we can prescribe that augment the treatment, allowing the healing to continue between treatments. I also will usually prescribe some exercises to do two things: bring the head back into proper alignment, and strengthen the neck muscles.

Neuropathy/Neuralgia

Neuropathy is a condition where the nerves that usually send impulses to the brain are damaged or diseased and may or may not include pain. Neuralgia involves pain along a nerve that does not necessarily involve damage. Shingles is an condition that often leads to neuropathy or neuralgia. Acupuncture and Chinese medicine has been found to be one of the most effective treatments for these conditions. Acupuncture works with the energetic system of the body, which, like our nerves, travels to every inch of the body. Our medicine is very moving, moving energy (Qi) and blood to all areas of the body. In an Eastern medicine sense, the areas that are tingling or numb or in pain often lack proper Qi and blood flow, become undernourished and damaged or painful. Acupuncture and corresponding Chinese herbal formulas work for these conditions because they circulate Qi and blood to the area improving the health and functioning of the nerves and removing blockages. Patients often report significant reduction of symptoms after just one treatment, but often to completely eradicate the damage several treatments and/or herbs are needed.

Osteoporosis

Chinese medicine treats osteoporosis with herbal formulations and acupuncture that encourage the strengthening of bone, increase bone formation and encourages bone to heal and rebuild. It has been shown to increase levels of calcitonin a hormone produced by the thyroid gland which inhibits bone degradation. Additionally, it enhances or produces recalcification of osteopenic bone. It also has a beneficial effect of lowering bone pain. Diet and proper supplementation are crucial for osteoporosis treatment and recommendations are made. Chinese medicine has been show to be an extremely safe and effective treatment for osteoporosis and the incidence of the condition in China are a fraction of those in the west because of this.

PCOS

PCOS in Chinese medicine is considered an imbalance and weakness of digestive, reproductive and hormonal energies. Through Chinese medical diagnostics an individual's imbalances can be assessed and corrected with acupuncture and herbal therapy as well as various lifestyle and dietary changes to aid in optimizing the body's metabolism, balancing hormones and improving reproductive health overall. This ScienceDaily article reports on acupuncture's success in treating this syndrome

Pinched Nerve

Pinched nerves usually respond well to acupuncture treatment. As with may pain cases, with pinched nerve we usually use a combination of acupuncture with gentle electrical stimulation (similar to a tens unit but connected to acupuncture points for added effectiveness) followed by cupping therapy.

Plantar Fasciitis

Anyone who has had this condition knows how painful it can be and how hard it can be to get rid of. There are a plethora of different devices and methods out there for dealing with this common condition. Some work better than others. But because of the nature of acupuncture and Chinese medicine, because of the way it looks at pain syndromes, acupuncture may be the best way to treat this condition. The plantar fascia is a ligament and ligaments, tendons, and joints have less efficient and abundant blood flow. Nourishment, and thus healing capacity, can be greatly reduced when damage has occurred. Acupuncture stimulates healing by stimulating blood and energy flow through the area. In addition to acupuncture, typically we will use one or more of the following in our treatment plan for plantar fasciitis: Chinese herbs (internal), Chinese liniments, cupping, gua sha, electostimulation.

PMS

PMS is easily treated with acupuncture and herbal formulations. In Chinese medicine PMS arises predominantly from the bodys response to stress. In a stressed state the body tends to constrict resulting in pain in the abdomen, breast or back. This constriction leads to a constriction of the body's energy flow which can in turn cause moodiness, water retention, bloating and digestive disturbances. By loosening the constriction and encouraging the free flow of energy, pain is alleviated, the mood stabilizes, bloating abates, water more easily moves through the system and digestion improves.

Rheumatoid Arthritis

Some conditions are actually treated better by Chinese medicine than Western medicine. This is a bold statement, but a true one. Just think about it, Chinese medicine had a 4000 year head start, surely they got something right. Actually they got a lot right, and the very heart of Chinese medicine is stronger than that of Western medicine, because it its based on prevention, achieving balance, and on stimulating the body to use its magnificent capacity to heal itself. RA is one of the conditions that I have seen respond extremely well to Chinese medicine. The Western treatments for this condition often have severe side effects and can be deadly. The symptoms might get better but the body gets more damaged. So there is no getting off the medications in this philosophy. Its a monthly paycheck for life for the drug maker. Acupuncture and herbs will gently but effectively treat the symptoms as well as the underlying cause of RA. Acupuncture and Chinese herbs do not have side effects, do not weaken the body, but make it stronger. In the treatment of all disease, the entire body needs to become stronger, needs to help out, before a real and lasting cure can occur. This is what Chinese medicine can help you accomplish.

Sciatica

At the Acupuncture Center sciatica is one of the most treated conditions. This is an ailment that can have many causes, from a bulging disk in the L5 area, to overuse of the low back from excessive driving, sore or tight glutes or in some cases the cause is completely unknown. Sciatica pain usually starts in the low back or buttocks area and will often travel either down the back of the leg or the side of the leg and in some cases to the front of the leg. Sometimes there is no back pain, only leg pain. Acupuncture is used to promote flow of blood in the areas of pain, to remove blockages and to stimulate the body to heal itself. We treat sciatica with a combination of acupuncture and cupping. The number of treatments required depends on the severity as well as length of time of the injury. Most patients are significantly better after 1 treatment. If the condition is severe, often two or even 3 treatments will be needed in the first week.

Shingles

Shingles is very painful condition that does not usually respond very well to western treatment. This is because it is a viral infection and there are not very effective drugs for it. According to Chinese medicine shingles goes through 3 stages and we feel it is important to treat the current stage of the illness. This way of treating shingles we find to be very effective. Depending on the stage of the treatment, our patients report less pain generally after just a series of 3 treatments.

Shoulder Pain

Shoulder pain and stiffness is something that is quite common especially in people over forty, and a disorder that we treat often at the Acupuncture Center of Richmond. Shoulder issues will in general respond within the first few treatments. So, I usually suggest that patients try a set of 3 or 4 treatments to determine if acupuncture will be an effective therapy for their particular shoulder issue. Some issues do respond better than others, but nearly all will show improvement. The shoulder must be both very strong and extremely mobile, and because of this combination, unique to this joint, it can be vulnerable to injury. Also, we don't always use our shoulder's full range of motion after a certain age, which can lead to issues. We can treat a wide range of shoulder issues including tendonitis, bursitis, rotator cuff issues, adhesive capsulitis (frozen shoulder), sprain, strain, and arthritic conditions.

Shoulder Pain

Shoulder pain and stiffness is something that is quite common especially in people over forty, and a disorder that we treat often at the Acupuncture Center of Richmond. Shoulder issues will in general respond within the first few treatments. So, I usually suggest that patients try a set of 3 or 4 treatments to determine if acupuncture will be an effective therapy for their particular shoulder issue. Some issues do respond better than others, but nearly all will show improvement. The shoulder must be both very strong and extremely mobile, and because of this combination, unique to this joint, it can be vulnerable to injury. Also, we don't always use our shoulder's full range of motion after a certain age, which can lead to issues. We can treat a wide range of shoulder issues including tendonitis, bursitis, rotator cuff issues, adhesive capsulitis (frozen shoulder), sprain, strain, and arthritic conditions.

Sinusitis

Sinusitis, especially chronic sinusitis, can be tough to get rid of even after taking several rounds of antibiotics. We can successfully treat patients who's sinusitis just keeps coming back. The problem with the antibiotic approach is that this is just killing the bug and doesn't address the reason the bug is causing the condition. There are infectious bugs all around us, but only some of us get sick. There is something going on that is perpetuating the disease condition. There is an internal condition that is allowing this bacterial beach head. Our approach is always to go after the cause, to stop the disease process and stop the occurrence. Chinese medicine is quite different than Western medicine and often what doesn't respond well to western treatment can be quite easily addressed with our medicine. This is usually the case with acute or chronic sinusitis.

Smoking Cessation

Acupuncture is becoming more and more popular as a method for helping to quit smoking. The most common protocol for this is a set of five acupuncture points in the ear and is called the NADA protocol (for National Acupuncture Detoxification Association) and was developed to treat any type of addiction. We use this protocol, but add to it a few more ear points as well as some body points to enhance the treatment. The smoking cessation treatments serve to help with withdrawal as well as to detoxify the body. Ear seeds, which are small seeds on an adhesive backing, are applied to the ear after each treatment to continue the process in between treatments. Acupuncture has been shown to work very well to help people with a strong desire to quit achieve their goal.

Tendonitis

Tendonitis is a condition that can be tough to get rid of. The main reason for this is that tendon tissue naturally does not get a great supply of blood. Because of this, when a tendon is injured, it often does not heal as fast as tissue that gets a ready supply of healing blood. So why choose acupuncture to help heal your tendonitis? Acupuncture by its very nature increases the circulation to the area being treated. We supplement this with specific ointments or poltices and tuina massage to further stimulate the circulation. So a few acupuncture treatments should significantly speed the healing process and help you get rid of your tendonitis.

Tennis Elbow

A British Journal of Rheumatology double-blind study found that acupuncture reduced the pain of tennis elbow by 55.8% after just one treatment. We find at the Acupuncture Center very similar results with our tennis elbow patients. Our patients are usually pain free after a few to several treatments depending on severity, general health, and whether they are able to stop the task that caused the condition. Tennis elbow is not always caused by tennis playing and many certain repetitive arm motions can lead to the condition known as tennis elbow.

Cupping

Cupping is a practice in Chinese medicine that has been around for about as long as acupuncture has (around 5000 years). Most non-Western cultures use some form of cupping. Cupping is a practice that we use every day in our practice because it is so effective. Our patients are often amazed with the results. Cupping is mainly used for pain cases and is usually done after an acupuncture session. Cupping is the use of suction cups applied to the skin in the area(s) where the pain is located. The cups are either left in place or moved around. Cupping is very effective for removing blood stassis or stuck blood. In Chinese medicine blood stassis is thought to contribute to or even be the direct cause of pain. Cupping is very safe but it does cause some bruising which is painless and resolves completely in a couple of days.