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  • Richard R. Fay, DC

What is Acupuncture?

Acupuncture originated in China approximately 3000 years ago. Today, it is available right here in Naperville, Illinois at DuPage Health and Physical Therapy. Acupuncture can offer many benefits for conditions such as neck pain, back pain, and headaches. Through the insertion of fine needles into specific areas of the body, we can help alleviate pain, increase circulation, reduce inflammation, and restore proper function. Acupuncture may also be used for conditions such as; painful periods, irritable bowel syndrome, trouble sleeping, and more. If you have a question about acupuncture or if it can address your specific condition, give us a call or book an appointment online. We have served Naperville and the Chicago area for over 40 years. We have treated thousands of patients and we can help you or someone you know.

In this post, we will cover some common questions:

  • What is acupuncture and what does it feel like?

  • What conditions can be treated with Acupuncture?

  • How does acupuncture work?

  • What are the risks of acupuncture?

  • How do I get started?

What is acupuncture and what does it feel like?

Acupuncture involves the insertion of very fine needles into specific points on the skin to alleviate various medical problems. Common conditions include back pain, neck pain, headaches, sleep trouble, sinus congestion, stress, and more.

Very fine single-use, disposable needles are used during an acupuncture session and are inserted into specific areas of the body to help it heal naturally. Patients typically don’t feel the needle insertion, or only feel a slight pinch. Depending on your condition, we may apply gentle electrical stimulation to the needles. This promotes healing and reduces pain and inflammation. Patients report that it feels like a gentle ‘buzzing’ or ‘vibration’. The intensity of electroacupuncture is finely adjustable and will be set at a level that is comfortable for you.

If you wish, you may listen to calming music and patients often report feeling relaxed and an overall sense of wellbeing after their treatment session.

Our newly renovated acupuncture suite is equipped with a treatment table that can be set in a flat position and reclines at many angles. This allows us to accommodate a variety of needs. Patients who need to sit upright can enjoy treatment, this includes individuals suffering from back pain, cardiorespiratory conditions, sinus congestion. Pregnant women may choose to lie on their side or in a reclined position.

What conditions can be treated with Acupuncture?

Acute and chronic pain, women’s health issues in all stages of life, sports injuries, side effects of chemotherapy, insomnia, smoking cessation, digestive problems, stress and anxiety, and Meniere’s disease. We also regularly treat conditions such as; shoulder rotator cuff tears, arthritis of the knee, vertigo, carpal tunnel syndrome, migraine headaches, restless leg syndrome, spinal stenosis, radiating pain and numbness, morning sickness in pregnancy and many more.

In conjunction with our Ideal Protein weight loss protocol, we use acupuncture to help our patients through periods of increased appetite. We use a combination of points on the ears, stomach, and legs to help bring the body back into balance and reduce appetite. Our patients often report improved satiety and an overall sense of wellbeing.

The World Health Organization recognizes acupuncture as a proven form of treatment for many conditions, such as; low back pain, neck pain, rheumatoid arthritis, headaches, sciatica, joint sprains, periarthritis of the shoulder, postoperative pain, and many others.

Acupuncture is widely used to treat the following conditions:

  • Neck pain

  • Back pain

  • Sports injuries

  • Migraines and headaches

  • Muscle tightness and pain

  • Spinal stenosis

  • Radiating pain and numbness

  • Shoulder pain

  • Herniated discs

  • Knee pain

  • Arthritis

  • Restless leg syndrome

  • Insomnia

  • Side effects of chemotherapy

  • Smoking cessation

  • Digestive problems

  • Sinus congestion

  • Stress and anxiety

  • Meniere’s disease

  • Painful periods

  • Increased appetite and weight gain

  • Morning sickness

  • GERD

  • Carpal tunnel syndrome

How does acupuncture work?

The insertion of acupuncture needles stimulates release of natural chemicals within the body’s tissues. These chemicals are known to reduce pain, influence important hormones, or cause the release of other mediating chemicals within the body. Acupuncture points are believed to stimulate the central nervous system. The body responds to the insertion of needles by causing the release of natural chemicals into the muscles, spinal cord, and brain. These biochemical changes may stimulate the body's natural healing abilities and promote physical and emotional well-being.

For example, a needle inserted into an area of muscle spasm relaxes the muscle and promotes a healing response. This effect may be felt during treatment, shortly after, or after a few sessions.

This ancient form of medicine places a focus on patterns of symptoms and their effects, rather than specific diseases and their causes. Acupuncture is administered primarily on the meridians of the body – which Eastern Medicine describes as channels in where ‘qi’, or ‘energy’, flows. Needles may also be inserted near muscle trigger points to reduce muscle tightness and pain.

Responses to acupuncture vary for each individual and on the type of condition and its severity. Initially, you can expect a recommendation of 8-10 sessions. Responses to acupuncture vary. Typically, our patients see results after a few sessions.

What are the risks of acupuncture?

You may experience minor bruising, redness, or soreness in the treatment area. We only use sterile, single-use needles, and we are trained in clean needle technique. Contact us if you have any questions or concerns.

How do I get started?

Our staff is available to answer any questions you may have. Acupuncture is known to be helpful for many conditions, if you have a question about one you’re struggling with, you may discuss it with us. To get started, call us today or book an appointment online.


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