Acupuncture as a Natural Alternative to Medication

NEW HAVEN, Conn. (WTNH) – As students settle into the new school year, many of them may start to struggle with stress or ADHD. Father of four and the founder of Connecticut family acupuncture  Matt Maneggia stopped by our studio this morning to tell us more about  Acupuncture as a natural alternative to medications.

Tell us about CT Family Acupuncture?

  • We’re a family-owned practice that I run with my wife, and we specialize in acupuncture and naturopathic medicine.
  • We just celebrated our 10th anniversary of CT Family Acupuncture and we have offices in West Hartford, Bolton and plans to open one in the New Haven area in 2018.

What are the benefits of acupuncture?

  • When performed by a competent, highly-trained licensed acupuncturist, acupuncture is one of the safest forms of medicine available.
  • It’s not as mysterious as some people make it out to be, basically it does 2 things:
    • Causes your body to produce a lot of anti-inflammatory and pain-relieving substances
    • Opens up blood flow to deliver those substances where they need to go
  • More and more research is coming out proving how well acupuncture works for all sorts of issues and every week we get more and more referrals from doctors.

Why do you think acupuncture should be used to treat kids with ADHD and stress?

  • Younger and younger students are being diagnosed with ADHD, and this is a phenomenon unique to the United States.
  • CDC report shows the number of children aged 2-5 diagnosed with ADHD rose by more than 50% between 2008 and 20012
  • By high school, nearly 20% of all boys in the US will have been diagnosed with ADHD
  • The most commonly prescribed medications are Ritalin and Adderol – and these are classified by the DEA as Schedule 2 drugs with a high potential for abuse
    • These drugs have many potential side-effects including paranoia, facial tics, and increased aggression.
  • On the other hand, acupuncture is completely natural and has zero negative side effects.

How does acupuncture help with ADHD in children?

  • Acupuncture and Chinese medicine doesn’t just treat the symptom, in this case the ADHD, we look to treat the root cause
  • So we could see 10 different kids diagnosed with ADHD, and based on other signs and symptoms, those kids could be treated 10 different ways, using completely different acupuncture points
  • From a modern medicine standpoint, we know that acupuncture has a powerful effect on neurotransmitters like serotonin and dopamine, and these same neurotransmitters are out of balance in disorders like ADHD
  • Also, there is evidence to suggest that ADHD may be an inflammatory condition, so acupuncture’s powerful anti-inflammatory effect comes into play here too.

What about stress?

  • Stress is one of the most common underlying factors leading to a myriad of health disorders
  • Stress releases cortisol into the body which, if it’s chronically at high levels, causes inflammation
  • Here again, acupuncture’s anti-inflammatory effect comes into play
  • And acupuncture has such a powerful effect on the body’s feel-good chemicals like dopamine, serotonin and endorphins that almost every patient feels significant stress relief – even if we are working on something seemingly completely different – like ankle pain

For viewers who are still unsure about acupuncture, can you tell us a little bit more about the actual treatment?

  • First of all, these needles are nothing like the needles we’re used to seeing at our doctor’s
  • Unlike hypodermic needles, acupuncture needles are solid – in fact you can fit a good handful of our needles into just the hole of a common hypodermic needle!
  • They are sterile and disposed of after each use.
  • The sensation can vary, with some people reporting a light pressure, tingling, warmth, or slight ache – but it’s never a sharp pain like you feel with a hypodermic needle
  • Once the needles are inserted, we leave you to relax on a massage table for about 30-40 minutes (with a call button of course if you need us).
  • It’s actually extremely relaxing – most people are blown away by that – in fact, most of our patients fall asleep during the treatment!

Where can viewers go for more information?

  • We have a lot of information on our website, including which insurances we accept www.CTfamilyacupuncture.com
    • They can also schedule a free 20 minute consultation by going on our website or calling the office.

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