Acute Care in Acupuncture: When to Come In and When to Stay Home

Have you ever had an acupuncture visit scheduled, then come down with a massive respiratory infection (or case of food poisoning, or major migraine, etc) and feel like cancelling the visit? You are not alone. Sometimes it is best to curl up in bed, metaphorically lick one’s wounds, and sleep.

Sometimes one shouldn’t drive or bike to the appointment. However, acupuncture is truly useful during times of severe pain or imbalance. The stronger the symptom, the more quick-acting the acupuncture treatment. For acute complaints such as respiratory infection, migraines, digestive upset, fractures, sprains and nerve pain, acupuncture can create a much-needed calm in the storm during the path to recovery. Here we find acupuncture’s hidden strength: acute injury and illness care.

When to come in with an acute condition:

Respiratory infections and severe headaches

  • Acute sinusitis, tonsillitis, general upper respiratory infection, after seeing your primary care physician: reduce pain, support immune response, reduce inflammation, help promote sleep, speed recovery time; herbal formulas can be used alongside antibiotics to eliminate symptoms more quickly and help you bounce back more quickly
  • Migraines – during the migraine itself if possible: alleviate pain, nausea and visual symptoms with acupuncture and/or acupressure

Digestive system and Reproductive system pain and upset

  • Nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, after ruling out bacterial infection and dehydration: acupuncture can reduce or stop vomiting and diarrhea, and reduce or relieve nausea; herbal formula can continue the treatment effect and assist in recovering digestive equilibrium more quickly
  • Acute abdominal pain, after seeing primary care doctor for diagnosis and any urgent care: reduce pain and inflammation; herbal formulas can be used to alleviate abdominal discomfort

Musculo-skeletal Injury and Nerve pain

  • Acute nerve pain, after ruling out structural causes requiring urgent care: reduce pain, offer acupressure points to use at home if pain is persistent
  • Fractures, after urgent care: facilitate bone knitting with less scar tissue; reduce pain and swelling; speed recovery time
  • Sprains and strains, contusions, after ruling out fracture: facilitate tendons, ligaments, and muscles healing with less scar tissue; reduce pain and swelling; reduce stiffness; speed recovery time

When to stay home:

When you feel too weak to leave the house; when you have a sleep deficit and/or are getting over an illness and have the time and strong urge to sleep- this can take priority since we do our best healing when we sleep!

As always, err on the side of caution and feel free to call us if you don’t know whether to keep your appointment or if acupuncture can help your condition.

When to go to the ER:

Bleeding, abnormal or profuse; difficulty breathing or severe chest pain; any acute unexplained headache or abdominal pain; severe vomiting and/or diarrhea; sudden incontinence; fainting or dizziness; sudden onset of numbness; sense of total body weakness; changes in cognitive ability or sudden change in speech.

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