Acupuncture is one of the treatment modalities available at Aspire Psychology. Our licensed acupuncturist, Donna Templeton, is also a psychiatric/mental health nurse practitioner. She offers acupuncture as an adjunct to therapy and medication.
Acupuncture is a component of ancient medicine that the Chinese have used for centuries. It spread to other parts of the world, including Europe, in the 17th Century. After World War I, it began gaining the attention of European medical societies, around around the same time, Western medicine began replacing ancient Chinese medicine in China, and acupuncture went underground. Mao Tse-tung’s Cultural Revolution of the 1940’s and 50’s spurred a revitalization of traditional Chinese Medicine. Revised texts poured into Europe and became somewhat popular, especially in France, where in 1955 Dr. Paul Nogier, using an instrument to measure electrical activity on the surface of the skin, discovered that all the acupuncture meridians — the channels of energy flow — were accessible at points on the ear. This was confirmed by clinical experimentation and research in China, and ear acupuncture was born.
In 1972, after Richard Nixon’s visit to China, interest in acupuncture was piqued in the United States — especially after the American newspaper columnist James Reston shared his experience of having acupuncture for anesthesia when he underwent an emergency appendectomy on the trip to China. This prompted Western research of acupuncture’s relation to pain relief, and the eventual discovery that acupuncture prompts the production of beta-endorphins, the body’s internal opiates. Research data has also shown a connection between acupuncture and other neurotransmitters including serotonin, epinephrine, norepinephrine and dopamine, all of which play a big role in mental health.
During the early 2000’s, the use of ear acupuncture took off around the world with the realization that it helped reduce stress and improved sleep in those who have been exposed to horrific trauma. After the 9/11 attack on the World Trade Center, a Red Cross acupuncture stress reduction clinic provided over 1000 treatments in 10 days, and continued providing treatment until 2007. In 2005, acupuncture was used to aid survivors of hurricanes Katrina and Rita, and in Kashmir following earthquakes. Acupuncturists Without Borders was continues to use acupuncture in trauma and disaster relief settings around the world.
The group also established a military stress recovery project that set up clinics in various communities to help members of the military and veterans deal with post-traumatic stress. The military itself is now using acupuncture in an effort to cut down on the use of opioids for pain management, and is, in fact, even using ear acupuncture on the battlefield.
Donna Templeton, PMHNP, talks about what you can expect
One of my observations in treating patients with acupuncture is that, no matter what they are being treated for, they almost universally say after treatment how calm and relaxed they feel. I went through Acupuncturists Without Borders training and experienced for myself how powerful the five needle protocol is. Research supports the effectiveness of acupuncture in helping treat such things as anxiety, depression, insomnia and addictions to food, drugs, alcohol and nicotine.
Ear acupuncture lends itself well to the Aspire treatment setting because it is performed with the patient sitting up and can take place during your regular medication management follow-up visit. If you and I determine that acupuncture would be beneficial for you, we will schedule it for your next visit and prior to that, you will be asked to sign an informed consent. You will be charged a nominal cash fee for the treatment because it is not covered by your insurance. You can expect to feel immediately calm and relaxed after the treatment, and over the longer term, experience better sleep and improved mood and decreased cravings. Learn more about Donna, or make an appointment.