Acupuncture for Scoliosis
Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) therapies have been used for thousands of years to treat a variety of health problems. TCM is a system of healthcare that includes acupuncture, massage, exercises, as well as herbal medicine and syndrome specific diets. TCM teaches that health is dependent upon an internal balance of energy forces, called yin and yang. Yin represents slow, passive energy in the body and yang represents excited, active energy. An imbalance of these energies promotes disease by blocking pathways, or meridians, that allow the flow of vital energy, or qi, throughout the body. Acupuncture works to unblock this vital energy flow by stimulating these specific points in relation to the body’s meridians. Acupuncture is used worldwide to treat pain and many, many other conditions. The most advanced method consists of the use of a low level laser (usually in the infrared spectrum) to stimulate the points, thereby unlocking the energy flow, relieving pain and restoring function to that specific part of the body.
Cold Laser Acupuncture (cold laser applied to acupuncture points) uses low-energy laser beams, instead of traditional acupuncture needles, to influence the flow of current at the acupuncture points. It has been shown to cause an almost identical physiological response and brain stimulation pattern as needle acupuncture, except without any sensation.
Laser acupuncture is used to treat:
- painful conditions
- muscle pain
- menstrual problems
- even bedwetting!
Practitioners of laser acupuncture have studied traditional Chinese medicine and apply these principles to point selection. They aim a beam of light from a laser tube onto an acupuncture pressure point which stimulates it the way an acupuncture needle would. The laser remains on the acupuncture point for ten seconds to a maximum of two minutes.
Since Cold Laser has gained FDA approval with an impressive 76% improvement rate, Cold Lasers are now being widely used in professional sports such as the USPS tour de France and the NFL.
Acupuncture and Idiopathic Scoliosis
Many studies have been conducted on the use of acupuncture treatment, however, Traditional Chinese Medicine diagnosis involves syndromes defined by imbalances between the body’s systems, such as yin/yang deficiencies or qi stagnation, so results can be difficult to interpret in terms of western medicine. Because of these differences very few studies exist on scoliosis for acupuncture. One 2008 study observed the effects of acupuncture in 24 girls between the ages of 14 and 16 with Adolescent Idiopathic Scoliosis. Patients were divided into groups that received sessions of either “fake” acupuncture (needles placed at incorrect points) or real acupuncture treatment. Although no improvement was observed in patients with curves over 35 degrees, significant improvements were noted with the real acupuncture treatment in patients with curves that ranged from 16 to 35 degrees but additional research is necessary to demonstrate the efficacy of acupuncture for scoliosis.
Other research has shown acupuncture to be effective in areas related to pain management.
Acupuncture and Degenerative Scoliosis
Acupuncture may benefit individuals suffering from adult onset or degenerative scoliosis, which can develop due to age and spine deterioration. Preliminary research has been conducted on acupuncture as a treatment for back pain and curve progression associated with degenerative scoliosis. However, insufficient evidence exists to conclusively prove the efficacy of acupuncture in the treatment of pain and degenerative scoliosis.
Dr. Strauss has a Masters in Acupuncture, a Doctorate in Traditional Medicines (Medicina Alternativa), an Acupuncture Diploma, a Graduate Diploma in Acupuncture and Chinese Herbalism and a Graduate Certificate in Acupuncture and Chinese Herbalism.