Acupuncture and Chiropractic are both widely used forms of Complementary Medical care utilized by a large number of Americans to treat specific health complaints and maintain a level of functionality in the body. Both offer non-pharmaceutical solutions for a variety of health issues and, in light of the growing opioid crisis in America, are gaining interest and use.
Chiropractic is a form of complementary medicine that focuses on structural alignment (mainly in the spine) and its effect on health and function of the body. Chiropractic benefits patients by using various methods to treat, but the mainstay is manual manipulation of the spine and other musculoskeletal structures to relieve pain, restore function and support natural healing in the body. It was first developed and employed by D.D Palmer in the 1870s. The first states licensed the practice in 1913 and it is now used worldwide.
Chiropractors attend a 4 year program of study and take nationally administered board exams in order to obtain the license of Doctor of Chiropractic. They are overseen by the National Board of Chiropractic Examiners (NCBE) and are required to take continuing education to maintain their certification. They are licensed by the individual states.
Acupuncture and Chinese Medicine
Acupuncture is the insertion of fine, sterile needles into defined points on the body to produce various known and documented effects on the function of the human body. It is one of eight modalities employed by Chinese/Asian Medicine that have been developed over 3000 years in China and most East Asian cultures. It first rose to popularity in America in the 1970s, although it had been practiced in Asian-American communities before that. European texts on the medicine date back into the 1800s.
Acupuncturists attend a 3-4 year program of study, and take several nationally administered board exams in order to obtain licensure. They are overseen by the National Certification Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine (NCCAOM) and are required to take continuing education to maintain their license. Each state grants licenses and the titles given range from Licensed Acupuncturist, Doctor of Acupuncture and Certified Acupuncturist.
What do these strategies have to offer patients?
With the recent attention on the growing opioid abuse crisis in America, non-pharmaceutical modalities like Acupuncture and Chiropractic have much to offer the public.
Both enjoy a high level of satisfaction among patients who have tried them for various health complaints and new and recent research is showing that they truly offer relief and healing for many patients.
When it comes to Chiropractic, most of the research has focused on its use for the treatment of body pain, often back or neck pain. The idea of correcting misaligned body structure to free the flow of nerve fibers and blood circulation make s complete sense and research tends to bear this up. There has unfortunately been a lot of controversy over the years about Chiropractic scientific validity of efficacy for other, non-skeletal complaints. Sadly, not as much research seems to have been done on the medicine in these areas, although many patients over the decades have reported good result and satisfaction with the therapy in this area.
Acupuncture often thought of as a pain treatment as well, although clinical use and research support its use for a wide variety of health complaints; from pain to fertility, headaches, digestive issues and PTSD (just to name a few). A large number of studies in these areas have been and are being conducted at this time, which fortunately seems to have prevented some of the controversy suffered by Chiropractic from affecting the acceptance of Acupuncture.
Together or Separate?
Clinically we have seen a great deal of support for the cooperative effort of these two medicines. Acupuncture, with its ability to speed anti-inflammatory substances, increase injury healing and alleviate pain pairs nicely with Chiropractic’s strength in realigning the bony structures of the body. Together, each can enhance each other in an effort to provide real meaningful relief and healing to patients suffering from injury or body aches and pains. Recent studies show the two do well in alleviating the suffering of migraine headache and other pain syndromes.
With its strong ability to initiate healing properties natural to the human body, Acupuncture is able to reach beyond pain syndrome cases to assist in areas of digestive, sleep, fertility, stress and other health problems. As stated above there is less “scientific” research about the efficacy of Chiropractic in these areas, but response by patients in the past for this type of treatment has been good. It is hopeful that more good studies will continue to help the public feel confident in these and other Complementary Medicine modalities.
For now, work continues to help more and more people suffering from pain and other chronic complaints without prescribing an increasing number of pharmaceutical medications; which although they can offer many some relief always seem to come with side effects that are less than desirable.
Acupuncture offers lasting change in body function which has helped many realize their goal of better health, less pain, and overall better quality of life. In many cases, we recommend patients pursue other therapies in conjunction with their Acupuncture treatments. Chiropractic has been and will continue to be one of those therapies which combines well with Acupuncture for so many.
If you or someone you know suffers from a health condition and you are wondering if Acupuncture may offer a solution, please feel free to contact our office for an initial evaluation to determine if that may be the case. We offer an introductory special price that makes the process very affordable.
Chiropractic basics: https://nccih.nih.gov/health/chiropractic/introduction.htm
Acupuncture basics: http://www.nccaom.org/
Questions of validity of Chiropractic: https://sciencebasedmedicine.org/reference/chiropractic/, www.takingcharge.csh.umn.edu/explore-healing-practices/chiropractic/what-does-research-say, http://time.com/4282617/chiropractor-lower-back-pain/
combined Acupuncture and Chiropractic:
for migraine: www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3437348/