T Nation

Acupuncture?

Has anybody tried it? Post your results. I have done some net research on TCM (traditional Chinese medicine) and am very eager to find a local provider.

The methods may be different, but are the effects comparable to ART?

Poliquin recommends it, too:

second question

Never tried ART but I had acupuncture done 3 times in Taiwan. I was trying to get some mobility back in my left shoulder. Didn’t help with the mobility but it did eliminate some of the pain. Not sure if it was so much the acupuncture or the salves they were also applying. Sorry, don’t no what were in the salves.

[quote]Nominal Prospect wrote:
Has anybody tried it? Post your results. I have done some net research on TCM (traditional Chinese medicine) and am very eager to find a local provider.

The methods may be different, but are the effects comparable to ART?
[/quote]

I have done acupuncture from time to time over the past 18 years. For some things, it works, for others it doesnt. On top of that, it is an art form and some acupuncturists are better than others.

If it concerns a muscle/structural issue, I would go with ART.

Some practitioners will drag on the therapy forever. You have to ask from the first meeting how many sessions it will take for you to see results. If the acupuncturist says “3” and you don’t honestly feel any changes after 3 sessions, just take the loss and split.

Also ask for moxibustion and cupping, in addition to the acupuncture.

Good luck!

In your opinion, what types of issues are best treated with acupuncture?

bump

I will go for my fourth session Monday. I haven’t noticed much difference, if any yet. I may try a different provider after two more sessions. I signed up for 5 sessions. I may go back to massage I think it was helping and certaintly was more enjoyable. (sholder pain)

[quote]entheogens wrote:
Nominal Prospect wrote:

For some things, it works, for others it doesnt. On top of that, it is an art form and some acupuncturists are better than others.

[/quote]

For me the best thing it works well for is pain and or injury recovery. As for all the other stuff promised… ahhh… save your money…

A couple of guys I train with have had acupuncture needle treatment on trigger points, not sure if it counts as “accupuncture” but they say: 1 hurts like hell, 2 works very quickly, 3 they’d have it done again (by the same physical therapist with sport injury specialization).

I had about 5 sessions of acupuncture and for me it worked well with pain reduction. My guys also hooked electicity to the needles to stimulate the muscle which I found really made me feel better, but I eventually had to have surgery. It is like cortisone and or other masking agents it only works for a period of time and prolongs the inevidable.

I would try it as it doesn’t hurt to use every avenue.

The question is, does it actually “fix” the problem or does it simply mask the pain temporarily, like a topical analgesic?

If you do a few sessions to deal with a certain issue, and you feel better afterwards, will you eventually regress to where you were before if you do not continue the therapy?

I let my spouse talk me into getting 2 acupuncture treatments when I tore my piriformis. When the pain is bad enough, you’ll try anything. The first treatment I felt did offer some good pain relief, as well as improved function for a few days. The second treatment, he did “cupping” (?) as well which I actually got bruises from. Not so good. So, I’m not a fan of the cupping.

Honestly, though, I’d probably take vicodin over acupuncture.

Even when temporary, pain relief is a good thing, especially for acute injuries. For chronic, overuse-type injuries, it’s important to address the problem, not just the pain.

[quote]andersons wrote:
Even when temporary, pain relief is a good thing, especially for acute injuries. For chronic, overuse-type injuries, it’s important to address the problem, not just the pain. [/quote]

Agreed, which is why I asked that question.

P.S. How much do people normally pay for this treatment?

I’m not good at remembering prices…100 bucks? 80 bucks? something like that.

I now feel that addressing trigger points and adhesions myself with foam rolling, self trigger-point therapy, etc. is more effective than acupuncture, adjustments, or ART sessions, if only because I can do the self-treatment multiple times per day. I view the other therapies as a useful adjunct for stubborn muscles or acute injuries. Kind of like the relationship between diet and supplements.

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[quote]Nominal Prospect wrote:
In your opinion, what types of issues are best treated with acupuncture?[/quote]

Sorry that I haven’t been following this thread for a week or so (I have been on vacation). Well, I can tell you that in my early 30s I had a serious gut issue that some diagnosed as Chron’s disease. Acupuncture and Chinese herbs definitely saved my ass (literally). It took some time but it worked.

I tried it a couple of years ago when I had rotator cuff issues. It didn’t help (at least for me).

I sometimes have problematic sleep issues and while it does help a little bit, it definitely never has been a cure for me. Other people have had success with this though.

So, I have had spectacular success with it in one instance, a bit of success in a second case, and a complete failure in a third.

I believe the World Health Organization has a list of problems that acupuncture helps. That’s probably going to be as close as you get to an objective answer to your question. A lot of acupuncturists feel under siege, like they aren’t respected by mainstream medicine, and usually react by telling you that acupuncture and Chinese medicine can cure anything. That’s bullshit. However, it would be wrong to throw the baby out with the bath water.

[quote]Nominal Prospect wrote:
andersons wrote:
Even when temporary, pain relief is a good thing, especially for acute injuries. For chronic, overuse-type injuries, it’s important to address the problem, not just the pain.

Agreed, which is why I asked that question.

P.S. How much do people normally pay for this treatment?[/quote]

75-100 dollars in the San Francisco Bay Area.