Contributed to Texas MD by Kendall Burleson, MSOM, L.Ac.
Acupuncture, a centuries-old form of medicine which originated in China, involves penetrating the skin with thin, solid, single-use needles in order to alleviate pain and treat various physical and mental conditions. This works through the communication mechanism between the body and the brain.
Millions of Americans use acupuncture annually for a wide variety of health concerns. While most people know that acupuncture can treat pain, the vast majority are unaware that this medical modality is useful for a broad range of health concerns including poor sleep, fatigue, digestive disorders, irregular menstrual cycles and menopausal symptoms, stress and anxiety, and allergies. It’s also important to note that it can be used as a preventative form of medicine just as well as a treatment for a disorder.
It can also aid cancer patients during and after treatment. Individuals undergoing chemotherapy often experience pain, nausea, anxiety, fatigue, or neuropathy as a result of treatment. Acupuncture can be one way to reduce or even eliminate these side effects.
Let’s be honest, acupuncture sounds a little weird. Sticking a bunch of needles in your body to feel better? Let’s talk this through. Acupuncture needles are very thin- the same thickness as a few strands of hair. The insertion of the needles feels completely unlike getting a shot, many patients feel nothing, and treatments are typically very relaxing. As more people in the United States experience the effectiveness of acupuncture it will become part of mainstream medicine and will one day be as “normal” here as it is in China.
I don’t like to categorize acupuncture as “alternative medicine” because we, as acupuncturists, should not replace your primary care physician or specialist’s care. Western and eastern medicines complement each other excellently. We’re a great addition to your health team and incorporating Chinese medicine into your wellness plan can bring significant benefits.
You don’t need a doctor’s referral to see an acupuncturist in Texas, but you do need to have your health concern evaluated by a physician within the 12 months before treatment begins. If the issue you’re looking to address is chronic pain, smoking addiction, weight loss, substance abuse or alcoholism, you’re not required to have a doctor’s evaluation beforehand, but I recommend you do anyway.
Remember that any imbalance you’re experiencing can be addressed by an acupuncturist, including those related to:
- Acute and chronic pain, injuries
- Chronic Degenerative Disorders
- Autoimmune Disorders
- Stroke Rehabilitation
- Preoperative anxiety and postoperative healing
To contact Kendall Burleson at one of the two Baylor Scott & White–Round Rock Clinics that are offering this service call 512.509.0200.
Scott & White Clinic–Avery Ranch is located at 10526 West Parmer Lane, Suite 409 in Austin, TX 78717.
Baylor Scott & White Clinic–Round Rock South is located at 1800 South A.W. Grimes Blvd in Round Rock, TX 78664.