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Health Benefits of Acupuncture for Seniors

Health Benefits of Acupuncture for Seniors

Have you noticed that acupuncture has been appearing in the media more and more over the past couple of years?  Articles have graced the black and white pages of The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, The Boston Globe and color spreads appeared in Time and Newsweek magazines.  Television talk shows abound with info on how acupuncture is good for back pain, knee pain, and the nausea of chemotherapy.

Acupuncture – which is one part of Chinese Medicine, has been used around the world for the past 2000 years.  Originating in China, the use of very fine stainless steel needles inserted into specific points over the entire body has become a treatment choice for millions of people. 

Does it hurt?” is the biggest question for many.  In actuality, 26 acupuncture needles can fit into a hypodermic needle. Acupuncture needles are solid and therefore can be bendable and thin. Many people hardly notice the insertion of these health-giving tools.  Sometimes you can feel a very slight sensation but overall patients report that treatments are very comfortable.

What is acupuncture good for?” is another question I often hear.  The World Health Organization lists more than 50 ailments that can be effectively treated with acupuncture therapy. Acupuncturists work on many pain related ailments – headache, knee pain, low back pain, neck pain – but also treat internal ailments such as gastritis, nausea, allergic rhinitis, cough, and insomnia.  The fact is that acupuncture is presently being integrated into medical care in hospitals, pain clinics, doctor’s offices and rehabilitation units around the globe.  It adds a treatment choice to relieve symptoms and restore health. 

Hebrew SeniorLife has added acupuncture into its medical offerings because it believes that senior residents at NewBridge on the Charles should have as many treatment choices as possible.  The bottom line is that acupuncture is safe and effective and has close to no negative side effects.  One of its best positive side effects is that it often gives people a sense of deep relaxation. 

In coming months I plan to explain more about current acupuncture research, theories on how acupuncture works, how to use acupuncture and Chinese medicine in each season and for general wellness, and more specific conditions that acupuncture helps with.                                  

Kathy J. Seltzer's picture

About the Blogger

Acupuncturist at Newbridge on the Charles, Dedham and Orchard Cove, Canton

Kathy J. Seltzer obtained her bachelor’s degree in Psychology and Women’s Studies from the University of Rochester, NY and her diploma in acupuncture from the New England School of Acupuncture, MA.  She participated in advanced training at the International Acupuncture Training Center in Beijing, China where she worked in an orthopedic clinic at Beijing Hospital. She has been a core curriculum faculty and the Dean of Clinical Education at the New England School of Acupuncture and she frequently lectures at area hospitals, health centers, senior centers, and conferences.

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Kathy has been treating my brother Steve at Newbridge on the Charles and it is helping him deal with chronic pain, following a stroke. He had back issues before the stroke but due to the weakness and other damage he stroke caused, the pain was more pervasive and chronic. Acupuncture has not eliminated the pain entirely but there is much less discomfort and it seems more manageable to him, I think. Kathy is very professional and pleasant and my brother relaxes during and after the treatments. Some of the nurses were also interested in seeing how acupuncture works, "with the needles."
Thanks for sharing your brother's experience working with Kathy. We're so glad to hear he's having a positive experience with acupuncture, and we appreciate hearing from you!
interested in acupuncture for finger joint pain
Hi David, We're glad to hear you're interested in exploring acupuncture. We currently only offer acupuncture to our NewBridge on the Charles residents. I suggest contacting your primary care physician to discuss your specific possible health benefits and to find out where you can receive acupuncture therapy in your community. Thanks for writing into the blog!
Your weight can make a big impact on the amount of pain you experience from arthritis. Extra weight puts more pressure on your joints—especially your knees, hips, and feet.

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