Acupuncture is a therapy that involves inserting needles into the skin to stimulate specific points (acupoints) on the body. It is based on techniques that originated in East Asia more than 2,000 years ago.
Licensed providers at Rush use acupuncture as an alternative medical therapy or an optional complement to other treatments. In experienced hands, it is a safe approach, one often used to treat the following:
- Arthritis, including osteoarthritis
- Back pain and neck pain
- Headaches and migraines
- Knee pain caused by tendonitis or osteoarthritis
- Nerve pain from carpal tunnel syndrome, neuralgia and sciatica
- Shoulder pain
- Side effects of cancer treatments, such as nausea, fatigue and loss of appetite
Should I have acupuncture?
In addition to the above, acupuncture may help if you have any of the following:
- Anxiety, insomnia, depression and stress
- Circulatory disorders, such as high blood pressure, angina and anemia
- Eye, ear, nose and throat disorders, including sinusitis and hay fever
- Gastrointestinal disorders like irritable bowel syndrome, colitis, food allergies, gastritis, ulcers and hemorrhoids
- Gynecologic and genitourinary disorders, including infertility, PMS, endometriosis, menopause, fibroids, morning sickness and kidney stones
- Immune disorders, such as allergies, lupus, multiple sclerosis, hepatitis, chronic fatigue and Epstein-Barr virus
- Parkinson’s disease (to reduce tremors)
- Respiratory problems, including asthma, emphysema and bronchitis
There are many uses for acupuncture not included here. Talk to your doctor about whether acupuncture or another treatment is right for you.
Types of acupuncture
During acupuncture, the therapist carefully pierces the skin with sterilized, hair-thin metallic needles at targeted acupoints based on your specific condition. The therapist then manipulates the needles with several possible methods:
- Charging (with a small, safe amount of electrical current)
Other methods do not use needles at all, including the following:
- Acupressure – Using fingers, palms, elbows, feet or special devices on acupoints
- Moxibustion – Applying heat to acupoints from a burning bundle of herbs
- Cupping – Placing a cup over acupoints and forming a vacuum
Your therapist at Rush will talk with you about your options and help you decide on the best approach.
Why choose Rush for acupuncture
- The Cancer Integrative Medicine Program at Rush offers acupuncture and other complementary and alternative therapies for patients receiving cancer treatment at Rush and their family members. Research has shown that acupuncture eases side effects of chemotherapy and radiation. It also helps people with cancer manage stress and combat anxiety, insomnia and depression.
- Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation specialists at Rush use acupuncture as part of their holistic treatment approach. These specialists, called physiatrists, are committed to relieving your pain and improving your quality of life.