Can needles stop your pain? An inside look at acupuncture

FOX Medical Team

Can needles stop your pain? An inside look at acupuncture

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ATLANTA - Andrea Orzechowski never imagined her tailbone could hurt so much, or that needles would be the one thing to tame the pain. She’d tried to find relief for months, and when her doctor suggested acupuncture, she says, “ I was skeptical, I was, I admit it!"

But when Orzechowski she came to the Atlanta Center for Holistic and Integrative Medicine in Buckhead, Dr. Tasneem Bhatia (who goes professionally by Dr. Taz) encouraged her to take a “whole-body” approach to her pain.

Dr. Taz’s practice uses a combination of conventional and complementary therapies.

Dr. Taz explains, “A patient of mine, for example, may have a medication that they're on, but they may also be prescribed acupuncture."

And acupuncture, which has been around for two or three thousand years, has become a lot more mainstream in the U.S. over the last few years. Dr. Taz says, “I've had patients come in and they're like, ‘Really, is this going to work? Are you sure?’ And then they try it, and they're amazed by the results."

The concept of using the hair-thin, sterile, disposable needles to opening up energy pathways along the body.

Dr. Taz says practitioners use a combination of different acupuncture points for each specific problem.

She says, "The most common conditions in which I recommend acupuncture are usually pain-based, or orthopedic. You may have an injury, or you've pulled a muscle, or an area of your back is hurting. Fertility and hormone balance are two big areas where acupuncture has (also) been shown to be very successful."

Acupuncture can be helpful for digestive problems, and for nausea after surgery or chemotherapy. But it has limits. Dr. Taz cautions, “Acupuncture will not cure cancer, acupuncture will not reverse an auto-immune disease.”

If you're interested in giving the needles a try, find a licensed acupuncturist. After four treatments, Andrea says the needles are helping. She says, “Now, I don't have that severe pain, I feel a little bit of residual. But nothing like that. I've able to get up and sit down with no pain.”

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