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Pain Management

Q: How is your approach to pain management different than other things I have tried?
A. What sets us aside at Holistic Primary Care is that we use a unique combination of acupuncture, specialized massage techniques, therapeutic stretching and “active release techniques” to work with many painful conditions in the body involving muscles and joints.Donald M. Eisenman AP, NMT, an acupuncture physician as well as neuromuscular therapist, brings over ten years experience treating soft tissue dysfunction (which includes muscles, tendons, ligaments, fascia and connective tissue), and he explains that when there is pain people often feel the need to stretch the area that feels tight.

However, the culprit may be a trigger point (what most people would call a knot in the muscle). A trigger-point is a micro-tear which can happen in a shortened or lengthened muscle, in which case over-stretching may make the pain worse.

By first assessing the body and then bringing balance by correcting muscles which have become shortened and tight, we allow the lengthened muscles to return to a resting position. This technique can bring relief where others have failed.

Q: How does acupuncture work to relieve pain?
A. Acupuncture works by stimulating the body’s own healing processes. Our bodies can create their own anti-inflammatory compounds and pain-relieving endorphins, but we may sometimes need a boost, especially if the painful situation has become chronic.Acupuncture helps increase circulation through the channels and calms the nervous system. It also helps with the stress and anxiety caused by chronic pain or injury.
Q: What if I am considering surgery or have post-surgical pain?
A. Many of our patients have been able to avoid surgery and return to their daily activities. We are happy to work with your surgeon or other medical providers to help you pre- and post-surgery.Some things we can help with are increasing circulation to aid in healing, decreasing pain so as to reduce the need for pharmaceutical pain medications, and aiding in restful sleep for a speedier recovery.
Q: What about scar tissue? Is there anything that can help?
A. Yes. As Donald Eisenman AP, NMT, explains, scar tissue that is visible on top of the skin is not the only concern. There can also be scar tissue underneath the skin that adheres to muscles and other tissues or structures, creating further dysfunction and impediments to healing.We can help remove restrictions from these adhesions and correct cosmetic issues through acupuncture and other therapeutic techniques.
Q: What types of painful conditions are you are able to treat at Holistic Primary Care?
A. Keep in mind that most patients are coming in with a diagnosis from a western medical doctor. We may diagnose you differently from our training in Traditional Chinese Medicine. In addition, we believe in treating you as an individual, because you are different than anyone on the planet! So we will look and listen carefully to your history and symptoms and how these express themselves uniquely in you.Painful conditions we treat include:
Herniated disc, bulging disc, spinal stenosis, arthritis, degenerative disc disease, sciatic pain, numbness and tingling, trouble walking, hip pain, low back pain, muscle weakness, joint pain, frozen shoulder, neck pain, reduced range of motion, wrist pain, carpal tunnel syndrome, leg-length difference, headache, migraine, TMJ, jaw pain, post-operative dental pain, post-surgical pain, fibromyalgia, rheumatoid arthritis, traumatic injury, chronic pain, other unexplained pain
Q: How can herbs and supplements help with pain?
A. Many Chinese herbs have anti-inflammatory healing effects. Our practice is unique in that we are one of the few able to make custom raw medicinal herbal formulas. We can also recommend nutritional supplements and dietary modifications to encourage your body to heal.

Women’s Health & Fertility

Q: Can acupuncture really help with fertility?
A. Yes, acupuncture has been shown to improve reproductive health of both men and women to increase the chance of a woman becoming pregnant and giving birth to a healthy baby.
Q: How does it work?
We use traditional acupuncture, electroacupuncture, and Chinese herbal medicine or dietary supplements when appropriate to improve blood flow to the reproductive organs, improve the body’s response to stress, and balance reproductive hormones. Benefits of acupuncture include improving the uterine lining thickness, increased blood flow benefiting the ovaries, and helping the fallopian tubes open.
Q: What if I am trying to become pregnant with the help of IVF, IUI, or other medically assisted reproduction techniques?
A. Acupuncture helps improve the success rate of IVF and IUI, and it can be used along with your medical treatment as an adjunctive therapy. You will find that most medical doctors are very happy to see you getting acupuncture treatments, as it helps improve outcomes. Acupuncture also helps your body tolerate the strong medications used during IVF cycles, and decreases the stress of the often long and difficult process of assisted reproduction.
Q: What if I have had a recent miscarriage?
A. Miscarriage is more common than many people realize. Acupuncture treatments can help in the recovery from this sad and painful event. Then we can begin to help rebuild the health of your reproductive system and prepare for the healthy pregnancy that you desire.
Q: Can I continue with acupuncture treatments once I am pregnant?
A. Yes, acupuncture greatly benefits pregnancy. We can help alleviate some of the issues that come up such as nausea, backache, and swelling and avoid the use of pharmaceutical interventions that could harm the baby.
Q: Which women’s health concerns can be addressed with acupuncture?
A. We can help with infertility, recurrent miscarriage, painful or heavy periods, irregular or absent periods, premenstrual syndrome (PMS), polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), endometriosis, uterine fibroids, frequent vaginal infections, urinary bladder disorders, menopausal symptoms such as hot flashes and vaginal dryness, and overall sexual health and libido.
Q: How do I choose a practitioner to help me with women’s health, fertility and pregnancy?
A. It is best to choose someone with experience and additional training in reproductive medicine. Our acupuncture physician on staff, Dorothy S. Wells, AP, is a fellow of the American Board of Oriental Reproductive Medicine (ABORM). She has had the pleasure of helping many women along their journey toward becoming mothers of healthy babies, and enjoys helping women achieve health and balance in any stage of life.

Stress, Anxiety and Sleep

Q: How can acupuncture help with stress, anxiety and trouble sleeping?
A. Acupuncture helps regulate the nervous system, promoting a state of balance and decreasing stress, and promoting restful sleep. Acupuncture can also help regulate and harmonize other systems in the body that can be impacted by stress, such as digestion and the cardiovascular system.
Q: Can acupuncture help with emotions such as anxiety and irritability?
A. Chinese medicine recognizes that the body and mind affect one another. You can test this by imagining experiencing an emotion such as fear or excitement. Did you feel a sensation somewhere in your body? Emotional stress is commonly felt in the stomach, chest, head, neck and shoulders, producing tension or upset. Acupuncture can help calm anxiety that is felt in the body by bringing the nervous system back into balance.
Q: I’ve heard that acupuncture can help with stopping smoking.
A. When you are ready to quit smoking, let us know and we will begin a stop-smoking protocol that can help with the process of quitting. Acupuncture helps decrease the nervousness that can come from nicotine withdrawal and helps reduce the craving to smoke cigarettes.
Q: How is your approach different?
A. Many doctors will not even ask about stress you may be experiencing, emotions, or how well you sleep. Yet here at Holistic Primary Care, these are key questions. We know that stress has been implicated as a major factor in many illnesses. Good quality sleep is important for healing, anti-aging, and even maintaining a healthy weight.
Q: Are the treatments relaxing? Will it hurt?
A. Many first-time patients are surprised at how relaxing and comfortable the treatments are. It is very common for patients to fall asleep during an acupuncture treatment, and then sleep very well that night. We will work with you to make your treatment enjoyable, restorative and effective.