Dr. Brett Inlow, D.C., of Valley Chiropractic & Sports Medicine in West Simsbury, CT, is committed to offering his patients the widest number of treatment options for relieving pain, which includes acupuncture. Fellowship-trained in the traditional Chinese technique, Dr. Inlow uses acupuncture to alleviate pain for patients in the Simsbury, West Simsbury, Canton and Avon areas of Connecticut.
A central practice in traditional Chinese medicine, acupuncture is a technique used to relieve pain by inserting thin needles into strategic points of the body. The word “acupuncture” comes from the Latin “acus,” which means needle, and “puncture,” which means to puncture. Acupuncture is often used in conjunction with other chiropractic modalities and is extremely effective in alleviating musculoskeletal pain, such as back and neck pain and headaches.
There are a number of theories as to exactly how acupuncture works. Proponents of traditional Chinese medicine believe the needles balance the body’s energy flow, which they call qi or chi (pronounced CHEE). Western practitioners believe the needles activate nerves, muscles and connective tissue, increasing the body's natural painkillers and blood circulation.
After discussing your symptoms and conducting a physical examination, Dr. Inlow will decide where and how many needles to insert. There are literally hundreds of acupuncture points that run throughout the body’s 14 primary meridians. Anywhere from 1 to 20 needles may be used. Once the needles are inserted, Dr. Inlow may gently twist the needles, add heat or gentle electrical pulses. Typically, the needles are removed after 10-20 minutes.
Acupuncture needles are very thin. Therefore, most patients do not find insertion uncomfortable. Once a needle reaches the desired depth, some feel a mild aching, heaviness or tingling. But the sensation is a lot less painful than a routine shot or blood test.
Some patients feel immediate relief, while for others pain lessens gradually. The number of treatments needed to achieve optimum results varies as well. The response is determined by a combination of the type of pain, whether it’s acute or chronic, the cause, and each patient’s unique physiology.