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Acupuncture is famous for the treatment of chronic pain. Chronic pain is one of the most common health concerns I see in my NYC acupuncture clinic. Back pain, headaches, migraines, shoulder pain, knee pain, neuropathy, arthritis, and other chronic pain conditions. Patients can have profound results. In the clinic we know acupuncture is effective for pain, but often skeptics are vocal opponents because they believe that there is not enough research. Recently, a very large analysis of research trials, called a meta-analysis, was published focusing on acupuncture for pain. The meta-analysis shows that acupuncture is effective for the treatment of pain. This was across many pain conditions including back and neck pain, osteoarthritis, chronic headaches, and shoulder pain. Andrew Vickers

Acupuncture can target chronic pain in any location of the body.  Sometimes, an acupuncturist will put needles in the place of the pain.  But other times an acupuncturist will place needles far away from the location, such as in acupuncture points on the legs and feet for chronic headaches. The primary way acupuncturists can focus the treatment for chronic pain in specific places because of the acupuncture channels.   Acupuncture channels connect different parts of the body and run along different places in the body.  The acupuncture channels create a type of map that interconnects different regions of the body. For example, the Large Intestine acupuncture channel starts on the hand, up the forearm, through the shoulder to the face.  This

For the last 50 years, the placebo effect has been a dirty word.  Real interventions make a physiological change in the body.   Placebos do nothing but convince the patient that something is different.   Reality states otherwise.  Ted Katpchuk, an acupuncturist and Chinese medicine doctor who focuses on the placebo effect in his research, wants to change all that. In last week’s New Yorker, an article focuses on the placebo and the scholars who think about and examine the placebo. What is a Placebo? One of the difficult and fundamental questions is what is a placebo?  We’ve come to believe a placebo is an inert intervention.  A sugar pill. In most clinical trials of medication, or even with some physical

Chronic pain is mysterious.  It can come and go.  It can get worse, or get better.  Often without explanation. Chronic pain is serious.  It interferes with work, school, and relationships.  Chronic pain is the most common issue that comes into my acupuncture clinic. Pain can effect almost any place in the body: headaches, back pain, shoulder pain, neck pain, knee pain, and any other location. Acupuncture for Chronic Pain Acupuncture is a complex therapy and works in a combination of ways to reduce pain and inflammation. Acupuncture works to reduce pain and inflammation through regulating neural pain pathways, stimulating the release of natural pain relieves in the body, such as opioids, as well as regulating pain relieving opioid receptors. Many

Chronic back pain and neck pain often develops after a car accident.   It can happen directly after the accident or gradually over a period of time.   Sometimes, people with chronic neck and back pain just doesn’t seem to get better, no matter what they try, even if there are no findings on the x-rays and MRI tests. Acupuncture is very effective at reducing chronic back pain after a car accident. In acupuncture and Traditional Chinese Medicine  the concept of circulation is unique and can be the reason acupuncture works when other therapies do not. Acupuncture Meridians The body is interconnected by acupuncture channels and meridians.  These connect and protect the body.  An injury or car accident causes a disruption in

Last week on The Brian Leher Show, he interviewed Paul Rieckhoff of Iraqi and Afganistan Veterans of America.  It was a powerful and moving discussion about taking care of our veterans as they come back from their experiences overseas. It got me thinking about how the VA should hire licensed acupuncturist to help these men and women recover mentally and physically.  I volunteer with an organization called CRREW which offers low cost acupuncture in the University Settlement in NYC.  It began in order to help victims of 9/11. We only volunteer one evening a week, but it had powerful effects on the community. This needs to be expanded to make a real difference. Licensed acupuncture are good at treating all

I serve as an expert on many sites.  Recently, a woman asked me about somatoform disorders, which is a problem of chronic pain and illness with no specific physical cause.  I commonly treat this type of problems in my clinic and it is more common than people think.  Western Medicine does not know everything about the causes of chronic illness, the key is to correct the root imbalance. Dear Friend, Thank you for the question. I understand that somatoform disorders can be very frustrating and challenging.   I do believe that Chinese medicine and acupuncture can help your situation, in fact I believe it is very suited for your condition. I have personally helped many people with pain and other

Joseph Alban, M.S., L.Ac, was recently featured in the British Journal of Urology International for acupuncture treatment of Chronic Prostatitis/Chronic Pelvic Pain Syndrome.  (updated May 1st, 2013) Men with Chronic Pelvic Pain Syndrome (CPPS), or Chronic Prostatitis Category III, suffer from pelvic pain, painful, frequent, urgent, or difficult urination, as well as sexual dysfunction. The pain can be intense or dull and is generally located on the pelvic floor, in the genitals, lower back, or the lower abdomen. These symptoms can be severe and affect all aspects of your life, resulting in depression, lost work and educational opportunities, and trouble in relationships. CPPS is the most common form of chronic prostatitis. What Causes Chronic Pelvic Pain Syndrome? The exact cause of Chronic Pelvic

The majority of Americans are in chronic pain or have experienced it.  More and more, people are seeking acupuncture for relieve of all types of chronic pain, from back pain and neck pain, to headaches and migraines, or chronic pelvic pain. Pain can affect almost every system in the body and develops from many sources.It can occur from a chronic immune disorder, after an infection, from a physical injury, or from emotional stress. Often, pain stays around a long time after an injury has healed. As a teenager, I first sought out acupuncture to treat my own chronic pain. For several years I suffered from back pain. It was quite severe for my age, keeping me from playing sports, getting