Entries by Don Silvernail

Four Benefits of Acupuncture for Chronic Back Pain

Back pain is a prominent hindrance in the lives of more than 65 million Americans, according to the Health Policy Institute at Georgetown. Americans who receive treatment for back pain often resort to pharmaceutical medications, including painkillers that can become addicting and may cause adverse side-effects. Others, with more serious injuries, consider undergoing surgery. Many do not know that prescription medications and surgery are not the only avenue one can take to find relief and healing.

Acupuncture, an alternative therapy for chronic back pain, introduces the body to all-natural treatment that works to provide long-term healing tendencies over the course of a patient’s regular visits. This type of treatment has become extremely popular in the Western World, contributing to more than 10 million Americans finding a regular alternative to chronic back pain-management.

Princeton Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine uses all-natural therapies such as needling, electro-acupuncture, and herbal medications to provide non-evasive treatment for back pain that issues minimal side-effects. Our therapies are non-medically addicting and painless, enabling patients to enter the journey of permanent, long-term healing and health restoration.

Although acupuncture works in many ways to produce positive health benefits and a pain-free lifestyle, there are four major benefits of acupuncture related specifically to healing and managing chronic back pain.

Brain Chemistry

Brain Chemistry Changes With Acupuncture

  • Acupuncture stimulates the Central Nervous System (CNS)- The Central Nervous System has three main functions, sensory input, information processing and motor output. It is comprised of the brain and the spinal cord, both of which are responsible for our body feeling sensations, such as pain. When acupuncture therapies, such as needling, are used, the CNS will become stimulated, triggering the release of several hormones that are responsible for producing feelings of happiness, controlling anxiety, and allowing all-natural pain remediation. 
  • Acupuncture produces all-natural painkillers to combat pain- On top of balancing the hormonal production, acupuncture also triggers the CNS to release all-natural, pain-relieving hormones called Endorphins. Much like prescription Opioids, Endorphins work to reduce feelings of pain, boost feelings of pleasure and provide the body with an overall sense of well-being. But, unlike prescription medications, Endorphins are natural and non-addicting. 
  • Acupuncture reduces inflammation and increases blood circulation- Root causes of chronic back pain can produce inflammation in the joints, tendons, ligaments, and muscles surrounding the spine. Acupuncture treatments kick-start the body’s self-healing process, which signals an increase in blood flow to the affected area(s) and allows for inflammation to subside. Improved blood circulation also allows the affect area(s) to receive proper nutrients and oxygen it needs to produce long-term healing and restoration. 
  • Acupuncture changes brain chemistry- As treatments progress, acupuncture works to harmonize bodily systems, changing the way that nerves and organ's function and respond to the pain that the patient is feeling. With the production and balancing of appropriate hormones for pain-management, the body can begin to self-heal and restore its homeostatic state. When the body is in pain, especially consistent pain, bodily functions, and organs work harder to try and combat the illness or injury. Acupuncture works to heal the root cause, targeting specifically the injury and the response to the injury from the brain.

Along with the four major benefits of acupuncture for chronic back pain are a plethora of other positive outcomes that can be received from all-natural treatments and therapies. Princeton Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine specializes in preventing and treating patient’s chronic back pain for long-term healing and further injury prevention.

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!

ANXIETY, ACUPUNCTURE & THE CAVEMAN

Got anxiety? Thank the cavemen. You can also thank them for your very existence! So, what do cavemen have to do with anxiety. Primal parts of our brain are mainly responsible for producing anxiety. Just like a healthy dose of fear kept cavemen from walking too close to the edge of a cliff, anxiety kept our ancestors worried enough to gather food or build a shelter or stock up on firewood. What do you think happened to the caveman who said “Dude, I’ll worry about firewood next week, I’m just going to chill here today”? Well, those laid-back cavemen had less chance of survival. And if they did not survive, they did not pass those chill genes down to you or me.

Modern Times

Some areas of the world, even some areas of our own communities, still have to worry about meeting basic needs, but for many in our society, food and shelter are not something that they worry about on a daily basis. So basically, we don’t need that level of anxiety in our lives. So why do so many of us suffer with anxiety. Unfortunately, the area of the brain that produces anxiety is still there. And humans have an amazing ability to find things to worry about, even when there is nothing there to worry about. There is supposition that, as a survival instinct, we are trying to keep that area of the brain honed just in case we really do need it at some point.

Troubled Times

Don’t get me wrong. Between the pandemic, the economy, and the election, there has been plenty to get worried about recently. Anxiety can develop in times like these and even impact a person for years to come.

Get Help

Ironically, cavemen probably did not suffer from anxiety. They had enough to worry about to keep themselves occupied. We, on the other hand, have plenty of time to let our minds go every which way and worry about all kinds of things. If you find yourself being overwhelmed with worry, here are a few things you can do:

Exercise: Remember, the cavemen were probably “exercising” 16 hours a day so your 20-minute HIIT workout may be good for your cardio but probably will not control your anxiety. But it will help, and taken with other interventions, even 20 minutes a day can help.

Therapy: Talk therapy is crucial, especially now. It can be hard to reach out for help but the damage that anxiety can do to you, physically and mentally, makes the effort well worth it.

Acupuncture: It is in the title after all! Acupuncture reduces stress hormones and can take patients out of fight or flight “lock” allowing them to rest and recover. Electro acupuncture induces the body to produce neurochemicals like gabapentin that can reduce anxiety.

If you are suffering, call today, set up a consultation and see if you are a good candidate for acupuncture.

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.

Acupuncture: Goals and Expectations

Two questions I ask all my patients are: What are your goals for treatment and what are your expectations for how long that will take. Answers vary from “I want this to go away completely” to “I just want to get some relief”. Most are a little unsure about how to answer the second question although I do tell them that yesterday is not an option! There are no hard and fast correlations but generally, your goals will have an impact on the both the length of treatment and the frequency that will be recommended.

Age & Time

We all know that the older we are the longer it takes the body to heal. Break a bone when you are 15 and within two months, you are back to 100%. Break a bone when you are 50 and it is a different ball of wax. Healing take longer, is often not as complete and you may be left with less than 100% function or range of motion. The other factor is time. The longer a problem has been around, the longer it takes to treat. A good estimate is one-month worth of treatment for every year the problem has been present.

What You Can Expect

Are you 15 or are you 50? Has the problem been there for two weeks or 20 years? Has the cause of the problem been removed? All of this is teased out during a consultation and, in many cases, during treatment. Your age, the length of time the problem has been present and aggravating factors all must be considered in order to determine a comprehensive treatment plan. These plans often change based on how you respond to treatment. You also may be in a situation where your pain, or problem can only be managed. If you are in your 70’s, have had multiple back surgeries and your back problem has been around for 30 years, it is very unlikely that you are going to see your problem 100% resolved. BUT imagine if your pain went for an 8-9 most days to a 3-4. Imagine if you were able to get more than three hours of sleep. Imagine if daily tasks did not seem insurmountable. This, for many, is priceless.

Help and Healing

Whether you are 15 or 50, acupuncture can help. Many patients who have severe or chronic problems do not know where to turn. They have been “everywhere” and tried “everything”. These are the patients we specialize in treating at Princeton Acupuncture & Oriental Medicine. These are the patients who feel helpless but with proper treatment and planning, there is help and hope.

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.