What goes into an acupuncture treatment?

The process of treating back pain with acupuncture, or any pain for that matter, is complex.  As an acupuncturist, we have many factors to consider in the treatment.

Important factors for the acupuncturist to decide are what acupuncture points to use, how long the needles stay in, what position the patient should lie, the use of electro-acupuncture, additional use of cups, and other factors.

1. How to choose acupuncture points:

Acupuncture points can be chosen based on location of the pain, type of the pain, and the underlying imbalances causes the pain.  Some pain, such as pain from sciatica, is best relieved by acupuncture locally in the lower back, around the sacrum, and throughout the course of the sciatic nerve.

2.  Use of electroacupuncture is very helpful for many types of back pain.  This technique enhances the relaxation of muscles as well as helps to reducing inflammation and pain.  In addition, electroacupuncture may be helpful in stimulating the growth of muscle tissue and therefore can be helpful for balancing the muscle weakness.

3. The length of the acupuncture treatment can also vary.  If there is an acute back spasm, it is better to have a shorter acupuncture treatment.  For muscle weakness, the needles will be left in for a slightly longer period of time.

4.  The patient needs to be comfortable during the acupuncture session.  Some positions, such as lying face down, will put stress on the back.  These patients will often benefit from treatment lying on their side or back and use distal acupuncture points on the most powerful acupuncture channels.

5.  Cupping is an effective additional technique to acupuncture for back pain.  It helps to relax the muscles and bring circulation to the area.

Joseph Alban, L.Ac.
Latest posts by Joseph Alban, L.Ac. (see all)