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Benefits of Acupuncture

Acupuncture, in conjunction with modern medicine, has the potential to contribute towards pain control, health and well-being.

Acupuncturists have experienced success in the treatment of many health issues.

At Liss Rehab, we maximize the success rate of acupuncture through communication between the physiatrist and acupuncturist.

Acupuncture is recognized by a number of health organizations to be effective in the treatment of many medical problems. Below are some of the medical problems that acupuncture can help with that are most pertinent to our practice:

  • Anxiety
  • Arthritis
  • Carpal tunnel syndrome
  • Chronic fatigue
  • Depression
  • Dizziness
  • Facial pain
  • Fibromyalgia
  • Headache
  • Insomnia
  • Knee pain
  • Low back pain
  • Migraines
  • Neck pain
  • Osteoarthritis
  • Pain of unclear etiology
  • Postoperative pain
  • Rheumatoid arthritis
  • Sciatica
  • Shoulder pain
  • Spine related pain
  • Stress
  • Sprains
  • Tennis elbow
  • Trigger points
  • Wrist pain

Medical research demonstrates that acupuncture is effective in the management of Low Back Pain, Osteoarthritis Pain, Shoulder Pain, Knee Pain, Wrist and Ankle Pain, Fibromyalgia, Migraine Headaches, Cancer Pain and Nausea, Insomnia, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, and Depression.

Patients that are particularly good candidates for acupuncture in a pain management practice:

  • Patients with acute pain that is severe enough to require medication.
  • Patients with chronic pain that is not responsive to other measures.
  • Patients with a strong associated muscular component to their pain.
  • Patients that expect success from acupuncture.

How does acupuncture work? According to ancient philosophy, Qi (pronounced "chee"), or vital energy, flows throughout the body. A person's health is influenced by the quality, quantity, and balance of Qi.

Qi flows through 14 specific pathways called meridians each of which is connected to specific organs and glands.

Blockage of the flow of Qi in any of the meridians can be detrimental to a person's health and leads to various signs, symptoms, and medical conditions.

After a history and examination the acupuncturist detects imbalances of Qi and inserts sterile needles into specific acupoints along the Meridian pathways. This allows for unblocking the obstruction of Qi with a resultant decrease in pain and improved bodily function.

What is acupuncture?

Acupuncture is an ancient form of medical care that has evolved into a complete holistic health care system. Practitioners of acupuncture have used this noninvasive treatment method to treat millions of people for a large variety of conditions.

Acupuncture is safe and painless and associated with extremely rare side effects. A significant percentage of medical practitioners refer patients for acupuncture because of its proven efficacy and safety.

Current theories on the mechanism of acupuncture:

  1. Neurotransmitter theory: Stimulation of the secretion of endorphins and enkephalins in the brain and spinal cord.
  2. Blood chemistry theory: An alteration of peripheral blood triglycerides, cholesterol, and phospholipids.
  3. Autonomic nervous system theory: Through the release of norepinephrine, acetylcholine, and several types of opioids. These substances affect the autonomic nervous system.
  4. Vascular-interstitial theory: An effect on the electrical system within tissues/cells.
  5. Gate control theory: Through activation of non-nociceptive receptors resulting in inhibition of nociceptive signals through the dorsal horn.

Patients that are particularly good candidates for acupuncture in a pain management practice:

  • Patients with acute pain that is severe enough to require medication.
  • Patients with chronic pain that is not responsive to other measures.
  • Patients with a strong associated muscular component to their pain.
  • Patients that expect success from acupuncture.

Acupuncture - Frequently Asked Questions

Loose fitting clothes are best. Drawstring pants that can easily be rolled above the knee, or shorts and a tank top.

Please eat something within one hour of your appointment time, and be sure to stay hydrated. At times people feel a bit light-headed after acupuncture, and these measures can help decrease the likelihood of feeling light-headed.

Acupuncture is frequently used to treat musculo-skeletal complaints such as neck pain, lower back pain, and headaches. It is also used to treat issues such as IBS, acid reflux, skin conditions, and mental health concerns such as anxiety.

Acupuncture is often described as a slight "pinch" when the needle is inserted. It is generally considered a tolerable sensation even by people afraid of needles.

It is recommended to try at least 4 visits before deciding if acupuncture works for you. You may feel results after the first visit, but sometimes it takes longer. The results vary based on the person and condition being treated. For example, someone who slept near an air conditioner and wakes up with a kink in the neck, but is otherwise healthy, will likely feel better very quickly. A patient with a chronic condition such as arthritis, will likely require more care.

Acupuncture is based on meridian pathways. Meridians are channels of energy and blood in the body. Some current research suggests that acupuncture points are located near nerve pathways, which is why a needle in the elbow may create a sensation all the way down to the hand. Although we are not directly needling nerves, the points can provoke a "traveling " sensation.

Although dry-needling is an aspect of acupuncture care, not all acupuncture points are dry needled. Dry needling refers to a technique used to release tight muscles and provokes a twitch response in the muscle so that it releases.


Alys Guttenplan, M.S., LAc., NCCAOM Diplo, Acu

Ms. Guttenplan is a lifelong athlete, former competitive figure skater, and a skilled acupuncturist. She became interested in the study of acupuncture after being an acupuncture patient herself, and receiving pain relief from a course of acupuncture treatment for her lower back pain. Ms. Guttenplan enrolled in Tri-State College of Acupuncture in 2007. She is a NCCAOM certified diplomate in acupuncture and has been a certified acupuncturist since 2010. She has worked in a variety of locations and treated an array of patients of all ages and with different medical conditions with much success.

Prior to becoming an acupuncturist, Ms. Guttenplan worked as a medical social worker for ten years, after receiving her Master of Social Work from New York University in 2002. She is also a certified yoga instructor and trained at the renowned Kripalu Institute for yoga and health. Ms. Guttenplan enjoys utilizing her varied background while practicing acupuncture. She is still an avid figure skater and currently trains in New York City, at The Skating Club of New York. She is also a member of the United States Figure Skating national network of healthcare providers. She has published articles on the benefits of acupuncture for figure skaters.


3 Offices to Serve You

Tenafly Fort Lee Riverdale

Rehabilitation Institute

111 Dean Drive Suite 1
Tenafly, NJ, 07670
Fax: (201) 871-2214

Call Us: (201) 390-9200