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Dr. Keith Schertell is board certified to practice acupuncture in addition to Chiropractic Medicine.
Acupuncture is primarily noted for the use of needles placed in the skin at various locations to affect a body part or relieve pain. Acupuncture is based on the theory that there is an energy network just below the skin's surface that communicates from the exterior to the internal organs and structures and forms over 1000 Acupuncture points on the body. This energy is thought to work in harmony with the nervous, circulatory, muscular, digestive, genitourinary, and all other systems of the body. When this vital energy becomes weakened or blocked, there is an effect in a body system or anatomic location. Stimulation of one or a combination of the many Acupuncture points on the body may restore harmony to the affected area.
Much like Chiropractic Medicine, Acupuncture is a health science that is used to successfully treat both pain and dysfunction in the body. Acupuncture treatments have been shown to be effective for many conditions including acute and chronic pain relief, neck and back pain, elbow, shoulder, and knee pain, trigeminal neuralgia, migraine, sinus, tension, and cluster headaches, asthma, allergies, skin conditions, neurological problems, fatigue, anxiety, bladder dysfunction, bedwetting, gastric problems, hemorrhoids, etc. Acupuncture is also commonly used for weight loss, drug and alcohol addiction, and smoking cessation.
Acupuncture can be performed with or without the use of needles. Meridian Therapy is the accepted name employed by those who practice Acupuncture without the use of a penetrating needle. Other methods used to stimulate Acupuncture points include laser or red light-emitting diode, electronic stimulation, acupressure patches, and instruments such as the teishein. Separate and powerful Acupuncture systems also exist for the ear, hand and scalp, and point stimulation can be performed with or without needles as well. The first and most important thing in Acupuncture is where to treat; how you treat is often of secondary importance.
Auriculotherapy or ear acupuncture has been part of ancient healing techniques for hundreds and perhaps thousands of years but it also has a certain amount of history in the western world as well. Auriculotherapy was developed in its current form by a French physician named Paul Nogier in the 1950s. Dr. Nogier became intrigued about the ears potential to affect various conditions after several of his patients found relief from sciatic pain. All of his patients were treated by a natural healer who had merely made a small scratch or cauterization of the ear. Through experimentation, Dr. Nogier created his own map of the ear and its relationships to the internal and external body.
Acupuncture deals with the electromagnetic fields of the body but auriculotherapy has been shown to have a clear cut embryonic relationship to the nervous system. The secret of the ear's extremely sensitive relationship to the body and organs may be due to the fact that the external ear actually begins modest development within the first 9 days of human fetal development, right after the microscopic brain and spinal cord begins to develop. A little knob develops as a projection of the mesoderm and this knob ultimately becomes the external ear. Research is finding that when you tap into a particular reflex, it literally taps the brain and spinal cord as well.
The ear can basically be treated for any condition in the body. It is also for diagnosis. A condition can sometimes be diagnosed before the symptoms actually appear and the ear can also offer information as to whether or not a patient has completely recovered from a condition. Auricular diagnosis usually involves inspecting the ear for discoloration, swelling, or changes in texture, palpating points with a probe for tenderness may reveal physiological abnormalities, or by using electronic readings where a higher than normal reading will indicate a potential dysfunction.
Acupuncture attempts to treat the body as a whole and not just the symptoms. Auriculotherapy has many applications including pain relief and to stimulate organs.
Patients respond positively to auriculotherapy because it is generally painless and usually gives them a sense of increased well being.
Auriculotherapy can be done with microelectrical current or with lasers. It can be used with needles but for patients that have a fear of needles, it is often used with acupatches. These contain a tiny stainless steel ball that is affixed to a flesh-colored adhesive circle similar to a tiny bandage. This allows the patient to self-stimulate an auriculotherapy point.