Chiropractors generally do not provide acupuncture, but you may find a few that do. There are several reasons behind why a chiropractor may decide to become a licensed acupuncturist on top of being a chiropractor. One of the main reasons is that acupuncture can enhance the effects of chiropractic adjustments. Here is how an acupuncture series can make your chiropractic adjustments even more effective than they already are.
Relaxing the Nerves
Nerves that cause the muscles to tighten up make it very difficult for a chiropractor to make an adjustment. Usually, a chiropractor will tell you to take a deep breath in, and slowly blow it out. This deep breath may be just what your body and the chiropractor needs to release the tightness and complete the adjustment respectively.
If the deep breath method does not work, then acupuncture might do the trick. Adjustments that specifically need a little extra help from the acupuncture needles involve the shoulders and hips. Blocking the nerves from the spine to these major body joints allows the muscles surrounding these joints to relax and release. Then your chiropractor can easily "pop" your joints into better alignment with the rest of your body.
Blocking Pain Without Medication
Sometimes the pain you feel in your back may be too much to bear during the chiropractic adjustment process. Although an epidural, spinal tap or nerve-blocking medication can be administered to get past the pain and get through the adjustment session, you are generally left feeling limp, lifeless and/or unable to drive yourself safely home. The few chiropractors that now offer acupuncture as part of their practice may offer it as an alternative to a full body or full spinal and nerve medication.
Acupuncture needles can block the pain until your adjustments have been completed. Then the chiropractor/acupuncturist removes the needles that are blocking the pain nerves and you can quickly and easily recover enough to drive yourself home or even back to work (since you will not be loopy or loose from medication). Additionally, when your spinal adjustments alleviate your pain, then you may feel little to no pain at all after the needles have been removed, allowing you to feel even better than when you first arrived for your appointment.
Finding a Chiropractor Who Is Also an Acupuncturist
Because chiropractors who are also licensed acunpuncturists are a niche business, they may heavily advertise that they provide both services. Just make sure before you schedule an combo acupuncture/chiropractic session that the chiropractor has a current license for both types of medical approaches and alternative treatments. Very careful and special movements are used to make acupuncture and chiropractic adjustments work together in harmony (e.g., nerve block for pain requires an acupuncture needle above the area your chiropractor is working on, etc.), and you do not want someone who is not yet licensed to attempt these special adjustments.