I can give you a personal experience: I had to have a tooth pulled out two years ago and had to have my jaw bone cut up in the process to help me get a dental implant. The doctor gave me a prescription for pain meds, but all I had to do was needle three points and I had no pain. I went back for more work and the doctor was pushing on my jaw the whole time he worked, so the next day I had a couple of my acupuncture students work on some other points to relieve the pain my neck endured from his jaw pushing work. I never used the prescription in either time. Once the body is flowing properly again, there is no pain.
In order to fully answer your question, I would need to know your full case. If you choose to go get acupuncture, you'll need to be assessed by the practitioner on which is the best route to take for you.
From a Chinese medical standpoint, we are adjusting the organs ability to function and setting the body to coordinate with the other organs functions, so it works smoothly on it's own. In other words, it helps the blood circulate because it helps the breathing and digestion circulate - together they "build blood" and "move blood".
How does acupuncture work? There are points that help the person stay calm, so they don't need the substance to keep them calm. It helps regulate the body's systems (digestive, circulatory, sympathetic/parasympathetic nervous system, respiratory, et al). It doesn't work by itself and it will not work if the patient is not willing to quit the lifestyle and become a non-smoker.
There is usually an herbal formula that assists the acupuncture treatment and there are counseling sessions the practitioner has with the patient and there is even a couple of points that can cause the patient to be repulsed by the scent of the cigarette.
It is best to work with someone who is familiar with working with this type of addiction, someone who has had experience and knows how to work with an addicted patient. So, when seeking a practitioner, be sure they know it's a process and will help guide your son. Before that, though, be sure that your son wants to make the change, because we cannot change his habits, only he can.
So, go as often as you like to see how it helps you along on your path. Stick to a good healthy diet and lifestyle and you'll reach your goals in an appropriate manner. You are in charge here, it is the work you do to reach your goal that will get you there - the acupuncture is only a tool to keep you overall balanced.
Minor things are local pain, maybe bruising and a drop of blood could come out. Even these are rare when done by a professional. More serious things would be nerve pain or a patient passing out. Again, those are rare and usually the passing out comes from the patient not eating that day, not resting well or because of their fears (similar to someone passing out when getting blood drawn is more from the fear than the actual draw).
Very serious problems, such as pneumothorax (lung collapse) or piercing a vital organ, etc are so rare that I only know of one person doing it in my 20 years of practice. This type of occurrence happens by people who have minimal training or don't care about what they are doing
Licensed Acupuncturists are trained to avoid such occurrences more vigorously than those who take the weekend courses to add to their scope (see MD/DC/PT note above).
There really is no danger of them needling "wrong points" and you won't have any real adverse effects from the treatment itself, it isn't like a pharmaceutical that would poison you or have an overdose limit. You might feel more calm and sedated as your body regulates, many patients feel a better sense of well being and that can seem weird, but it isn't harmful.
Any fear you have, be sure to just ask your practitioner. I promise you it is safer than the meds you are already taking.
The key thing is to stay in communication with the practitioner - there are some feeling that we are actually looking for and some that may be inappropriate. If what you feel is "pain" i.e. too much for you to bear, than definitely tell your practitioner so they can remove or adjust the needle.
Key thing is to always stay in communication with your practitioners.
Good luck and happy motherhood.
Find a licensed practitioner in your area, an L.Ac. (Licensed acupuncturist) not just and MD or DC who "does acupuncture too". Find a good qualified practitioner and if you don't like your first choice, shop around a bit to find one who you click with.
1. Acupuncture is a modality of Chinese medicine and Chinese medicine looks at the body differently than western medicine even though some things seem to overlap. One of the differences involves how we see colds/flus manifesting in the body. In western medicine it is from a virus and in Chinese medicine it is from the body not adapting to the environment (and hence the virus takes over). In short, both medical styles require the body to be stronger than the virus. So far, so good?
2. In Chinese medicine, part of the process of maintaining balance with the environment includes keeping the blood flowing and the other body systems flowing properly (lymphatic, digestive, sweat glands, etc). If they aren't flowing well, then from a western point of view the white blood cells can't do their job as well, the lymphatic system and digestive systems can't eliminate the waste products as well and the skin and muscles tighten up preventing circulation everywhere.
3. Acupuncture (along with moxibustion and in some cases herbal formulas) keep the systems flowing, remove the tightness in the muscles, air out inflammation areas and coordinate the body's systems to flow more smoothly. To explain all of the intricacies here requires a 4-year medical degree or at least a couple of years of basic TCM theory and differential diagnosis - so I won't go into the nitty gritty, but I hope you can start to see what is happening.
4. Even western medicine is currently realizing that the weather does have a factor in people getting sick (even though the main culprit is the virus). People live with viruses and bacteria all the time, it is when the body functions begin to fail that the microbes start to take over. With acupuncture and other Chinese medical modalities, we focus on strengthening and regulating the body more than killing the virus. This is why there are less side effects and a quicker recovery.
I not only help people prevent flus and colds with acupuncture, moxibustion or dietary and lifestyle advice, I also treat people who are currently active sick. 9 out of 10 who come in with a cold/flu leave with minimal to no symptoms - in effect they go from "day one" to "end of sickness" in the hour that I treat them. Others take an extra day or need to take some herbs to finish it off, but they can pretty much get on with their day when I'm done.
However, I do my acupuncture slightly different than the average L.Ac because I use more needle techniques to eliminate and regulate as opposed to just sticking in needles (which is also helpful but may take the extra day or so).
In short summary; Prevention is done with preparing the body for the season so body can be in harmony with environment (and hence stays stronger than virus) - treatment is done when the patient is already sick and we remove the sickness with needles/moxa/cupping and herbs.
I hope I was able to answer your question.
Acupuncture itself isn't useful if the break needs repair, but it is useful in incidents surrounding surgery itself. Keep this idea as you think about any and all other health conditions. If it cannot help directly, it can help indirectly.
Now, for things we do not NEEDLE. We do not needle into open wounds, we do not needle pregnant women directly over the uterus as the baby develops (i.e. no lower back points or abdominal points surrounding growing fetus/embryo. We have certain points we do not needle while a woman is pregnant, but those same points are quite useful when the mother needs to initiate or help foster or induce labor (help the baby get pushed out - help reduce pain during labor, etc).
We also do not needle into infections, lesions, infected skin areas (covered in staph, etc) and what not. However, acupuncture can help to relieve the causes of such things and/or give relief to such things (increase immunity, relieve pain, etc.).
So, to hopefully answer your question properly - there is nothing that acupuncture cannot help/assist, but there is really no condition that it is not recommended (at least not by those who know it's full potential and proper usage). There is, however, things we do not needle when treating conditions.
Can you see the difference here? I hope I answered your question.
The acupuncture can help calm the nervous system and ease you emotionally and help regulate the hormonal balance as well. So, it can help and it can treat, but "cure" is too strong a word for anyone to use.
I hope this helps and I hope you find a licensed acupuncturist (L.Ac) to help you.
Find someone who really knows good needle technique.
Find a practitioner who is familiar with muscular pain and you should be better really soon.
The acupuncture can help relieve the tension from the unhealed tissue, help blood flow more easily to help healing continue and helps you sleep so the issue isn't exacerbated.
Find a licensed practitioner who works well with pain. Good luck
Go see a Licensed Acupuncturist and see if they can help - they have options beyond needling, such as "gua sha" (a scraping tachnique), cupping (a suction technique), Chinese massage, herbs, salves, patches, etc.
Find a licensed Acupuncturist in your area (and L.Ac. not a DC or MD who "does acupuncture). Find one who works with children and is good with muscle pain. Your son should be better soon, since the MD's already ruled out major problems.
Keep in mind you can also get acupuncture for pain issues, for colds/flu, for sleep issues and a whole plethora of ailments. So, go when you feel sick for any reason. The amount of times to go, however, is determined by you and your practitioner.
Be willing to listen and ask questions but don't try to learn everything they are doing. The practitioner went to school for at least four years to learn what they are doing, so full explanations can't really happen, but they should be able to tell you things in a way that allows you to understand basically.
Remember that if they use the word "liver" "kidney" "heart" or other organ it doesn't mean that organ itself, but a system of related functions in your body. With that, remember that Google isn't a school, so ask the pro before looking things up.
If you experience any discomfort or pain let the practitioner know - we don't like to hurt our patients, but sometimes a needle hits a spot that can hurt, (most won't) so just keep open dialogue with the practitioner.
That should do it. Good luck and enjoy.