Chiropractic or Acupuncture?

Should you do both or is one going to be more beneficial than the other? This is a pretty simple answer, it just depends on what’s going on. I firmly believe every person experiences symptoms differently, and every person heals differently so which treatment option is best for you will be hard to determine until we have done a thorough history and exam.

A lot of patients come into the office for chiropractic care and then get curious about acupuncture and wonder if it would be a valuable addition to their overall health goals.

I have personally found better success in most patient’s healing if they have done both. Once I start working with patient through chiropractic care and they are experiencing some relief from the pain that originally brought them in, they realize there’s some underlying issues that also need to be addressed. Or maybe they knew about the underlying issue for a while – like GI Disorders, stress and anxiety, or insomnia concerns but until they were pain free, they did not have the energy or capacity to deal with the root cause. That is when we begin the acupuncture.

Recently, a long-time patient came in with stress headaches. This had been a new thing and she was not sure what to do about them. We were continuing with her normal adjustment schedule with a concentration on the cervical spine and the muscles in the area. She was experiencing some relief through the adjustments and because of this, she was able to focus on when the headaches were occurring, how she felt before they started, and helped narrow down the main problem of them. We decided acupuncture was the next step in reducing the frequent feelings of anxiety she is having right now. After just one session, she was already seeing improvement. While laying on the table with the needles in, she is able to relax enough to feel her energy (Qi) flowing and describes it as almost like a wave going through her.

We are still in the middle of the acupuncture treatments but overall, there has been great improvement, and this is something I typically see with patients. Acupuncture works best when you do multiple sessions. It builds on the previous treatment with each session, so the results tend to get better and better each time.

There are benefits to just chiropractic care, there are benefits to just acupuncture care, but when we combine both, the results are phenomenal. If you have any questions about whether one or both modalities are right for you, contact me at or call the office (757) 305-9996. I look forward to helping you achieve your wellness goals.

Transition into Fall Seamlessly

As many of you know, I have been doing a lot of acupuncture in the office. Along with studying acupuncture, I have also been studying Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) and the philosophies that have developed over the past 4,000 years. Many those philosophies are things you already innately feel. As I start sharing more about TCM I will hopefully be able to put into words what you already know.

Here are some great TCM tips on helping you transition from late Summer into Fall.

Tip #1: Embrace the Warmth

Keep your body warm, both externally and internally. Wear clothes that cover you completely. I know the style right now is showing the midriffs but cover that up. We will cover more reasons, associated with fertility, for keeping this area warm in a few weeks. Put on the sweatshirt and sweatpants; pull out the wools socks your Mother-in-Law knitted for you from the back of your drawer; do not sit directly under the air conditioning. During those sunny Fall days, go outside and enjoy the warm sun on your face.

Eat warm and nourishing foods. Make soup a staple in your house all year round. If you are feeling cold, make a hot cup of tea to help warm you from the inside out. Avoid drinking water with ice and transition away from the iced coffees. Also, try to focus on warm and nourishing foods. In TCM, foods are categorized as cold and hot. A salad is considered a cold food while red meat is considered warm food. Focus more on warm foods.

Tip #2: Keep the Qi Flowing

The transition between seasons is a time of disharmony and that is reflected in our bodies. A lot of times, this is when our Qi gets stuck. A very light and superficial example of this disharmony is trying to figure out what to wear each day during the transitions. We must put more thought into how we will dress for the ever-changing weather during this time versus once we get settled into each season. This may not feel like much, but it turns our focus away from other things, requires more mental thought and prep, and if we dress poorly, it can leave us feeling too cold or too hot which can then affect our productivity, energy, and overall satisfaction with the day.

Keep the Qi from entering this space of chaos with acupuncture. A maintenance appointment can remove any Qi blockages and promote internal harmony. Try Qigong, Tai Chi, or Yoga as well. The flowing movements of these three practices help remove the stuck Qi. It does not have to be a lot of work. Find an app or YouTube video and do it for 10 minutes a day.

Tip #3: Find Happiness

Each season has an emotion associated with it. Fall’s emotion is grief. As the days get shorter and the leaves turn color and fall, we are more likely to think about the things we are losing. This can start a downward spiral into Seasonal Depression. Put in extra time to focus on what makes you happy during this season and recognize when you are feeling sad. Do those first few cloudy, windy days make you want to hibernate? Do you start to lose energy? What do you do during the sunny and crisp Fall days that make you happy and how can you do that during the dreary ones? Identify how you feel each day. Create a list to keep in plain sight so when the blues hit, you can pick something to do.