SF Giants Use Needles: See why everyone is moving towards integrative medicine…

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The SF Giants aren’t the only athletes using Chinese medicine and acupuncture for injuries and chronic pain treatment. Former San Francisco 49ers players, Jerry Rice and Steve Young, received regular acupuncture treatments for sports related injuries. So too has NBA’s star, Shaquille O’Neal. The word is out that if you are looking for treatment with lasting results, Chinese medicine knocks it out of the park. 

Chronic pain affects 50 million Americans every year according to the American Pain Foundation, and is the leading cause of disability in Americans under 45 years old. Chronic pain can last a lifetime and affects bones, nerves, organs, hormones, and other structures in the body. Between one-half and two-thirds of people with chronic pain are less able or unable to exercise, enjoy normal sleep, perform household chores, attend social activities, drive a car, walk, or have sexual relations. 

Even after 20+ years of doing acupuncture, I’m often impressed by how well it works to help people who might otherwise have had to go for surgery. When I began to study Chinese medicine 25 years ago, I was wonderfully excited to have a solution to offer people that would actually heal pain. Both the World Health Organization and the FDA approved acupuncture as a method of pain relief over 15 years ago based on a large number of studies documenting its success throughout the world. 

Acupuncture and Chinese medicine are based on the principle that our bodies are made up of energy that moves in certain patterns. Pain occurs when energy is out of balance causing it to get stuck in a certain place. Acupuncture is the placement of fine, painless needles in specific points to help stuck energy move.  Scientific evidence measures 50 millivolts of electrical shift every time a needle is inserted in the skin. 

Generally there are four or five causes of chronic pain: 1) injury, 2) hormonal imbalance, 3) poor sleep, 4) chronic infection, and 5) allergies. Usually chronic pain is caused by some combination.

Often chronic pain is initiated by an injury that doesn’t get better the normal way. Then, the pain progressively begins to wear on a person’s energy. Just to sustain daily functioning, hormones in the body are used up to keep a person going. This begins an intense cycle of pain, not being able to sleep, hormone consumption, and then more pain, worse sleep, and more hormone consumption. The longer it goes on, the worse it gets. 

As a western and Chinese medicine practitioner, my first step is to assess the imbalances in the body, and then to specifically determine what’s wrong- whether the chronic pain involves an infection, if certain hormones are too low, etc. I work with herbs, supplements, and acupuncture in tandem to help a person restore his or her body’s energy and balance. The length of acupuncture treatment depends on how long a person has had the chronic pain. The general rule in alternative medicine is that it will take one month for every year of pain.

Athletes know almost better than anyone, you cannot live without a healthy physical body. The secret is ancient, and skin deep.

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