Acupuncture and Chiropractic are very compatible and I feel now as I did when I first went into practice in 1993 that bringing these two fantastic therapies together can offer tremendous advantages to my patients.
Most licensed Acupuncturists and Chiropractors share a similar philosophy, one that incorporates the ability the body to heal itself as long as obstacles to healing are removed. From the acupuncturists’ perspective this means adjusting the energy flow through the body’s invisible meridians to assist healing. Chiropractic philosophy sounds nearly identical except that we propose that spinal subluxations are what interfere with the energy flow to and from the brain.
In my practice, acupuncture and chiropractic techniques are already going hand in hand to improve patient outcomes. Musculoskeletal pain is perhaps the most common reason patients use acupuncture and chiropractic care. From a structural standpoint, chiropractic can help to put them back in alignment. Then I can follow up with acupuncture, which can control inflammation. Together, the muscles around the spine stay relaxed, giving a better net effect than chiropractic treatment alone.
Some patients have so many variables or areas of complaint that it can be difficult to address them all or at least to help them all with just the adjustment. For these patients I may also recommend Acupuncture treatments immediately after their adjustment to help reduce muscle spasm, soothe inflammation and reduce pain. I have 25 years of experience working as both an acupuncturist and chiropractor and there’s no doubt in my mind as to the synergy of these two practices. Since both are working on the nervous system, this common area of focus can often act as a multiplying force when it comes to patient outcomes.
Understanding and using acupuncture also diversifies my practice allowing me to treat more internal medicine problems like digestive issues or hormonal imbalances in conjunction with nutrition. There are some areas where acupuncture has shown particular prowess and sometimes I steer people into the pathway I think is potentially a better option for them, such as with issues like irritable bowel syndrome, anxiety, infertility, or PMS to name a few. When I see people with sinusitis or a cold, I use acupuncture and herbs along with adjusting. Not only does acupuncture often provide fast relief for patients in these cases, but together you can get better results than with just chiropractic adjustments alone.
Women’s health issues are another example where I feel Acupuncture gives the patient a particular boost. I see a lot of different ailments, such as people with irregular menstruation or a lot of related pain and cramping. Fertility patients are often good candidates for acupuncture treatment. Those who have had a tough time conceiving often turn to drug therapies to increase their chances, but I have had my hand in getting a number of couples with child via Acupuncture treatments, which are not only for the woman, but the man as well.
I have also worked with other medical professionals to help treat patients undergoing pre-and post-surgical rehabilitation. This is an excellent example of the power chiropractic care and acupuncture can have when used together. I’ll see a patient with a post-surgical knee, hip, or ankle, adjust the surrounding joints and use Acupuncture to reduce the swelling and pain and they’ll go back for their recheck with the surgeon at two and four weeks, and the doctor can’t believe how little swelling they have and how much function they have. Acupuncture’s ability to diminish joint swelling enhances the effects of chiropractic treatments, helping patients see faster healing times. That translates to decreased downtime and less lost time from work.
Not only do patients feel better faster when they receive chiropractic and acupuncture care in combination, but they also become advocates of the therapies once they see the effects for themselves. They share their excitement and enthusiasm with their primary care physicians and other practitioners. I’m now getting referrals from specialists and family physicians who may not even fully understand what a Chiropractor does, but they don’t care because the results are what they are after for their patients. That’s really the best form of advertising I could ever ask for.
Dr. Hoch (pronounced Hoke), is a 1988 Graduate of Peotone High School and a 1990 Graduate of Joliet Junior College. She Received both her B.S. in Human Biology (1991) and her Doctorate of Chiropractic (D.C.) (1993) from The National College of Chiropractic in Lombard, IL. She also received her graduate and post-graduate certifications in Acupuncture from NCC.