Acupuncture and Chiropractic Care

One question we hear from patients quite often is, “If I’m getting acupuncture, is it ok to see the chiropractor?” or vice versa. Chiropractic care and acupuncture are actually rather complementary to one another! In fact, we have some exciting news: Beginning October 2022, we will have chiropractic care available at our Magnolia location with Dr. Nowelle Altman-Sigman!

Chiropractic care is a manual, hands-on treatment that focuses on correcting misalignments of the joints, especially those of the spinal column. This is a viable treatment for those experiencing neck, back, or joint pain and for those suffering from headaches and neuromusculoskeletal problems. Chiropractic treatments are an effective, non-invasive and holistic approach to many ailments, providing pain relief and in many cases, relief from further issues stemming from blockages in the body caused by misalignment. Often, patients of chiropractic care also note improvements in quality of sleep, digestion, energy levels, and even mood. 

Acupuncture is an entirely different modality—using fine, sterile needles inserted at specific anatomical points on the body. While acupuncture treats a wide range of ailments by promoting the body’s natural healing abilities, releasing feel-good endorphins and restoring the body to homeostasis, it does have commonalities with chiropractic care. Both are holistic, drug-free options for care with a patient-centered approach that promotes natural healing and optimal health. Acupuncture and chiropractic care both share the objective of balancing the body’s structure and its support systems. 

When both acupuncture and chiropractic treatments are combined, you can expect to see more improvement over less time. While a chiropractic adjustment corrects the body’s structure and eliminates blockages in the body caused by misalignment, acupuncture further relaxes the muscles, reduces pain and inflammation, and assists the flow of energy through the body where these blockages once existed; more importantly, it helps the body adapt to and maintain its corrected structure.  

These two treatments working together offer an unmatched, supportive and holistic approach to pain relief. If you’d like to incorporate chiropractic care into your acupuncture routine we will begin offering treatments with Nowelle Altman-Sigman, DC starting October 2022! 

She will be available on Wednesdays at our Magnolia location and we couldn’t be more excited! Along with chiropractic adjustments, Dr. Nowelle Altman-Sigman will also offer craniosacral therapy, visceral manipulation, and functional medicine. For further information or to be added to her waitlist, call our office at 270-506-3853, and stay tuned to our website for more updates! 

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Let’s face it, acupuncture doesn’t always have the best public image. People think of Kungfu Panda or Pinhead—needles randomly poking everywhere. Or maybe they’ve been on Instagram and seen some photos and videos of poorly done dry needling (through clothing, dangerous needle placement over organs, etc) and equate that with acupuncture. Who wants to risk an infection or organ puncture—no thank you!  Then someone says they are going to stick needles in your ears and help you feel better—truly, I understand the skepticism!  Now, let me break down some of the mysteries. 

Acupuncture isn’t a singular practice. There are dozens of different systems and styles and a myriad of variations among those. Acupuncturists have many resources to address your issues with those tiny little needles. One of these systems is Auricular (Ear) Acupuncture. Amazingly the entire body, internal and external, including the emotions are reflected in the ear. 

Don’t believe it? Here are some photos and video of the changes one patient experienced after having her knees locked straight for years after her bilateral knee replacement. This immobility in her knees made it hard to walk, and uncomfortable to sit; caused problems in her knees, hips, back, and feet…and repeatedly she was told her case was hopeless. Even trying to force the knees to bend under sedation didn’t work. She originally came to see me for allergies (also resolved), but her knees were so clearly painful and her legs just stuck out straight even sitting on the edge of the chair. I asked her if I could see if some extra needles might help with the pain.

First visit-locked legs showing improvement
Immediate improvement!
Next visit-continued improvement!

She agreed. I placed a tiny 3mm long needle in just the right spot aiming to simply reduce her pain and within a few seconds the knee had bent a little and the pain was greatly reduced! Encouraged and amazed, I continued on. Another needle, another increase in range of motion. 3 needles and her knee had gained a visible range of motion. Fast forward 2 months—her knee was now bending even more, almost to 90 degrees if she really focused on it, with no pain and no further treatment. We then decided to do the same thing for the opposite knee…same result.  

An “impossible” case was getting nearly immediate and long-lasting relief. Sounds too good to be true, I get it!  This is why I love what I do. Changing people’s lives for the better without drugs and working with the body, instead of against it. And that’s the point, helping people live better, one person at a time.

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Acupuncture can be used to restore hormonal balance, regulate energy levels, smooth emotions and help manage sleep, emotions and menstrual problems. There are several powerful acupuncture points on the ear and the body that can be used to regulate the production of thyroid hormones. Studies have shown acupuncture can reduce thyroid nodules, restore normal thyroid function and reduce the need for thyroid hormone supplementation1.

When it comes to lifestyle changes, a diet rich in protein, calcium, magnesium, and iodine helps support thyroid function; while certain foods known as goitrogens may interfere with thyroid hormone production and should be limited. These include cruciferous vegetables (such as cauliflower, cabbage, and brussels sprouts), peanuts, and soy. Stress-reducing exercises such as yoga or tai chi are also beneficial.

In a normal, healthy state—the thyroid gland secretes just the right amount of thyroid hormone to regulate almost all the metabolic processes in your body. Too much or too little of these vital body chemicals can drastically influence your health. With over 20 million Americans living with some form of thyroid disease, much attention has been given to the many ways that acupuncture and Oriental medicine can treat thyroid problems.

When your thyroid is not functioning properly, it can produce too much hormone (Hyperthyroidism) or too little (Hypothyroidism).

Hyperthyroidism:

  • Weight loss despite increased appetite
  • Increased heart rate, heart palpitations, higher blood pressure, nervousness, and excessive perspiration
  • More frequent bowel movements, sometimes with diarrhea
  • Muscle weakness, trembling hands
  • Development of a goiter (an enlargement in your neck)
  • Lighter or shorter menstrual periods

Hypothyroidism:

  • Lethargy, slower mental processes, or depression
  • Reduced heart rate
  • Increased sensitivity to cold
  • Tingling or numbness in the hands
  • Development of a goiter (an enlargement in your neck)
  • Constipation, heavy menstrual periods or dry skin and hair

If you have a thyroid problem, call us for a consultation. A custom-tailored treatment plan will be created to suit your individual needs—so that you can feel better quickly and safely!

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Source:

1 Chen Q, Zhou J, Zhang X, Wang L, Yang B, Xia J, Zhong M, Tang X. Acupuncture for thyroid nodule treatment: A protocol of systematic review and meta-analysis of randomized clinical trials. Medicine (Baltimore). 2020 Oct 2;99(40):e22276. doi: 10.1097/MD.0000000000022276. PMID: 33019402; PMCID: PMC7535653.

Integrative medicine solutions including acupuncture and East Asian Medicine have received much attention as successful therapies in their treatment providing pain relief, regulating the immune system, managing symptoms, and improving overall quality of life. In addition, acupuncture increases the chances of a successful and healthy pregnancy for women with autoimmune conditions.

Autoimmune diseases are a group of disorders in which the immune system attacks the body and destroys or alters tissues. There are more than 100 serious chronic illnesses in this category including rheumatoid arthritis, type 1 diabetes, lupus, thyroid disease, inflammatory bowel disease, Addison's disease, pernicious anemia, celiac disease, multiple sclerosis, myasthenia gravis, and Guillain–Barré syndrome.

The exact mechanisms causing these changes are not entirely understood, but bacteria, viruses, toxins, and some drugs may play a role in triggering an autoimmune process in someone who already has a genetic (inherited) predisposition to develop such a disorder. It is theorized that the inflammation initiated by these agents, toxic or infectious, somehow provokes in the body a "sensitization" (autoimmune reaction) in the involved tissues.

As the disease develops, vague symptoms start to appear, such as joint and muscle pain, general muscle weakness, possible rashes or low-grade fever, trouble concentrating, or weight loss. The following symptoms may indicate something wrong: numbness and tingling in hands and feet, dry eyes, hair loss, shortness of breath, heart palpitations, or repeated miscarriages can also be caused by an autoimmune response.

According to the American Autoimmune Related Diseases Association (AARDA), more than 24 million people in the US have autoimmune diseases and another 8 million have autoimmune markers without a clear disease diagnosis. Of these, more than 80% are women. Each disease appears uncommon on an individual basis but, as a group, the disorders make up the fourth-largest cause of disability among women.

How Acupuncture Treats Autoimmune Disorders

According to East Asian Medicine theory, autoimmune disorders occur when there is an imbalance within the body systems related to immune functions. Imbalances can come from an excess or deficiency of yin and yang that disrupts the flow of Qi through the body. While these explanations sound strange, when the model is applied to the body, the treatments are very effective. Acupuncture is used to help the body restore balance; treating the root of the disorder, while specifically addressing the symptoms that are unique to each individual.

Clinical research has shown that acupuncture causes physical responses in nerve cells, organ function, and parts of the brain. These responses help the body rebalance. As a result things like blood pressure, body temperature, and the immune system return to a more normal and healthy state.

Acupuncture and herbal medicine provide safe and effective options for the management of autoimmune conditions and improving quality of life. Please contact our office with any questions.

The products and statements made about specific products on this web site have not been evaluated by the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent disease. All information provided on this web site or any information contained on or in any product label or packaging is for informational purposes only and is not intended as a substitute for advice from your physician or other health care professional. You should not use the information on this web site for diagnosis or treatment of any health problem. Always consult with a healthcare professional before starting any new vitamins, supplements, diet, or exercise program, before taking any medication, or if you have or suspect you might have a health problem. Any testimonials on this web site are based on individual results and do not constitute a guarantee that you will achieve the same results.
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