Entries by Don Silvernail

When Are Opioids OK?

When they are produced by the body of course. Wait, the body makes opioids? Absolutely, and acupuncture, especially electro acupuncture, can induce the body to produce these pain-relieving substances. Opioid peptides (endorphins, enkephalins and dynorphin) are made by the body, act on opioid receptors and relieve pain among other effects.

Opioids vs. Opiates

Opiates are drugs (either natural or synthetic) that produce similar effects as the body’s own opioids. The problem with opiates is that they are addictive. There is a time and place for these substances to be used clinically (such as recovery form surgery) but their use should be very short term. The reason we have a crisis in this country with these drugs is that they were prescribed inappropriately. For lack of a better alternative, especially with chronic conditions, these drugs were often prescribed long term, leading to addiction.

Acupuncture & Opioids

Acupuncture has demonstrated an ability to induce the body to release these pain-relieving substances to help patients manage pain. So how does this help patients, don’t you become “addicted” to acupuncture and need continued treatment without end. There are several ways that acupuncture will help not only relieve pain, but help your body heal. Many patients who are in pain have trouble sleeping. The only time your body heals is when you are sleeping. You can refer to our blog post ​Pain, Sleep, Stress to see how pain, sleep and even stress affect one another. When acupuncture relieves pain, even temporarily, it allows patients to sleep and gives their bodies a chance to heal. Acupuncture stimulates blood flow, reduces inflammation and stimulates the immune system. Using electric stimulation, an acupuncturist can introduce electrons in to the body and electrons help the body heal.

All too often, modern medicine looks to improve on the body’s natural healing abilities. This is where we commonly get in to trouble. The healing capacity of the body evolved over tens or even hundreds of thousands of years if you go back far enough. Encouraging the body to do what it already knows how to do is a much safer and ultimately more effective approach.

​Princeton Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine

Our patients know just how effective treatments are for these and a host of other problems. Steven Hoffman, a New Jersey Licensed Acupuncturist and Diplomate in Oriental Medicine, will provide you with a thorough intake and evaluation and a clear, comprehensive diagnosis and treatment plan that will insure that your goals are met or exceeded. Do you want to move past these or other problems? We will help you thrive not just survive!

​Traditional cultures have known for centuries the myriad benefits of drinking bone broth. This is something that has been lost in modern times but now you can return you and your family to this time-honored tradition of both maintaining health and even healing yourself simply by nourishing yourself properly.

Top 5 Pain Conditions Treated with Acupuncture

Acupuncture excels at treating any pain syndrome. This is because it not only reduces inflammation and increases circulation but because it helps heal damaged tissue. There are five conditions, however, that are seen repeatedly in the clinic and I will discuss each of them below.

1 - Acupuncture for Back Pain

This is the most commonly treated condition and it is not surprising. The back, and especially the low back, supports the entire weight of the upper body. All this weight and the force generated by walking, running or even picking things up, comes to a focus in an area about the size of the diameter of a peach. It also takes a tremendous amount of muscle strength to stabilize and maintain this structure. Age, weight, lack of exercise, injury, poor posture and even stress all contribute to causing pain in this area. Acupuncture has proven to be a clinically effective means of managing and even eliminating back pain.

2- Acupuncture for Neck Pain

This is something that is seen more and more in the clinic. While the area is not subject to the intense physical stress that is seen in the lower back, supporting the neck is still a big job. Stress and poor posture contribute more toward this syndrome and just about all my patients, regardless of what they are being treated for, complain of some neck pain or tightness. Working to treat the heart of the issue, inflammation and circulation, acupuncture has also demonstrated an ability to reduce stress hormones.

3 - Acupuncture for Headaches & Migraines

Headaches and migraines are sometimes a chief complaint for patients, but many patients reveal that they suffer from “the normal” headaches during the intake. Headaches are not normal, they are a signal from your body that something is wrong. Acupuncture is a fantastic way to treat headaches since it deals with increasing circulation, reduces stress hormones and as mentioned above, treats neck pain, often a contributing factor in headaches.

4 - Acupuncture for Knee Pain

Just like the low back, the knees deal with a tremendous amount of weight and stress, supporting not only the upper body but the upper legs as well. How many miles does your Fitbit tell you walk every day? Multiply that over weeks, months, years, decades and you start to get an idea of the wear and tear that we place on our knees. As soon as a person feels their knees start to bother them, that is the time to come in for treatment, before the damage becomes so great that no amount of treatment will fully relieve the problem.

5 - Acupuncture for Shoulder Pain

Shoulders are a place of the body that most don’t think about much. Until you can’t get a glass from a cabinet, or pick up a pan, or must use one arm to drive or get through a day on the keyboard without downing several pain killers. Shoulder pain typically responds very quickly to acupuncture treatment, with most patients demonstrating increased range of motion and reduced pain after just one acupuncture treatment. Several treatments are often needed to eliminate the pain and some exercises are normally required to strengthen and stabilize the joint.

Pain can crop up anywhere on the body, but these five places are the most common. Call today for a free 30-minute Pain Relief Assessment if you are suffering with these or any other pain condition.

​Princeton Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine

Our patients know just how effective treatments are for these and a host of other problems. Steven Hoffman, a New Jersey Licensed Acupuncturist and Diplomate in Oriental Medicine, will provide you with a thorough intake and evaluation and a clear, comprehensive diagnosis and treatment plan that will insure that your goals are met or exceeded. Do you want to move past these or other problems? We will help you thrive not just survive!

​Traditional cultures have known for centuries the myriad benefits of drinking bone broth. This is something that has been lost in modern times but now you can return you and your family to this time-honored tradition of both maintaining health and even healing yourself simply by nourishing yourself properly.