According to the NIH, acupuncture is a therapy that dates back at least 2,500 years. Specifically acupuncture is the insertion of extremely thin one-time-use disposable needles into specific locations on the body called acupuncture points.
Why is this acupuncture DIFFERENT?
1. Palpation based therapy. Our body is a living, dynamic organism. One of the powers of acupuncture that creates the illusion of magic is that the right acupuncturist knows how to access this system with pinpoint accuracy. It's kind of like playing darts with a blindfold versus without - you achieve a lot more accuracy if you listen to the body and use an immediate feedback system.
Many acupuncturists will do a short intake followed by needles followed by rest. The palpation based system, with roots from a blind practitioner in Japan named Master Nagano, allows the patient and practitioner to see and feel changes immediately. With greater treatment specificity one can achieve improved, long-lasting results.
2. Structural and Functional Mechanics of the Body
Imagine that you just had your tires changed, rotated and serviced, balanced, whatever. Now it’s time to fly down the I-95 ect. but your driver side front tire lug nuts were not tightened properly, in fact they were just tightened by hand - how does your car run? POORLY. The structural integrity of the body is important.
Take a look at yourself in the mirror and see what your posture looks like? What is our idea of good posture? Can you now imagine that your posture is influencing your function? If your body is not in the right position then you will not have the right function - this is a BIOMECHANICAL FACT.
In part this style of acupuncture allows the practitioner to be a mechanic of sorts. Some people do have the time and knowledge to be their own mechanics, but for most of us at least from time to time we need a little help.
3. Postural Tension
When was the last time you needed to remind yourself to have better posture? Most people don't really know what that means? We stand up straight and pull our shoulders back - right? In part yes but what we often forget is that the body has THREE movement planes. Rotationally, side to side and front to back. So if we stand up straight and pull our shoulders back principally we are only working with one plane of movement.
What you need to know is that your posture influences your neurological, respiratory, muscular, skeletal, and other functional systems.
Does poor structure = pain?
No. Rather we can associate the two. We know this from MRI studies of cross sections of individuals. For instance, did you know that 55% of men over the age of 50 have a herniated disk? (reference) Why is it that some people react to pain and others do not?
Poor structure does not equate to pain because our body systems are amazingly adaptable. Pain has multiple source inputs. One representation of this is Melzack's pain Neuromatrix (Pain and the Neuromatrix in the Brain, 2001 http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/11780656)
Bringing It All Together
In summary palpation based acupuncture is structural in nature. We take real information from the body utilizing immediate feedback and constant analysis of the structural and functional mechanics of the body to create harmony and balance in your system. That is the yin and yang and wisdom of this medicine: where it is stuck move it and where it is moving to much stick it.
Dry Needling Therapy is a western style therapy that allows a high degree of dosage and specificity to be delivered in treatment. The number of dry needling therapists in Massachusetts is rapidly growing given the demand and success of the treatment.
Currently there are only two however who are trained by MyoPain Seminars, who offers the most comprehensive and demanding certification course in content, testing, and competency.
Stecco Fascial Manipulation or FM has its roots in Italy from a physical therapist named Luigi Stecco. Stecco has created a method of treatment combination that balances the body and is based science. This treatment method is highly effective and is backed by numerous research studies as well as over 200 live cadaver dissections. Fascia is an emerging science but more and more we are beginning to understand the importance of this highly overlooked structure from both a movement and pain perspective.
Postural Restoration Exercises
The Postural Restoration Institute in Lincoln, Nebraska is an institute developed to “explore and explain the science of postural adaptations, asymmetrical patterns and the influence of polyarticular chains of muscles. Our mission is based on the development of an innovative treatment that addresses the primary contributions of postural kinematic movement dysfunction.” (https://www.posturalrestoration.com/about, Aug 2015)
"I have been studying Institute courses since 2014 and am committed to achieving a PRT in 2016."—Brendan Carney
The goal of treatment can be viewed in two steps. The ancient Japanese Acupuncture masters called this root and branch treatment. If you water just the branch of a tree it will not flourish. Both roots and branch must be maintained if one is to thrive.
Our treatment goal is to combine what we believe to be the underlying nature of your problem, pattern, disharmony ect. and to effectively treat and reduce the immediate sympmatic problem.
Generally 1-4 treatments are recommend at the beginning of a treatment cycle. With proper compliance of homecare activities you should find with resources so that you can treat yourself. Our goal is never to establish a forever weekly treatment.
With sound clinical reasoning and investigation some changes should be achieve within 1-4 treatments, otherwise an alternative therapy is needed.