How to maximize your benefits from acupuncture and chiropractic treatments

Written by Douglas A. Schwan, DC, Dip ac. Posted in Health and Beauty

Back in the ‘70s when Arnold Schwarzenegger was lifting weights and winning awards for his physique, he was in a documentary entitled Pumping Iron. The documentary showed how he utilized acupuncture and chiropractic to help him recover quickly from the pain of injuries as well as increase his overall energy level.

After practicing acupuncture and chiropractic myself for almost four decades, I’ve seen some pretty amazing and powerful results. But I have also seen patients walk out feeling super terrific only to have the effect fade within a couple days. The treatments don’t seem to hold as well as they should.

Of course, acupuncture and chiropractic treatments are nothing more than an assist to the body. I like to think of acupuncture needles as antennas that help direct the body’s energy to the parts that need it or, conversely, drain away excess energy from areas too saturated. Chiropractic acts in a similar way to activate the spinal nerves of the body and to restore biomechanical function and movement.

An example might be arthritis associated with wear and tear. These areas of the body might lack energy and be considered cold relative to the rest of the body. By using acupuncture points in this area, and even adding electrical micro-stim, we can raise the local energy level, allowing the breakdown of inflammatory chemicals and driving the ingrowth of new, healing micro blood vessels.

The opposite might be the case in treating mental disorders like depression or anxiety. Many times, these conditions are the result of brain neurochemical imbalance—or in Eastern medicine parlance, too much energy. Utilizing certain acupuncture techniques, this excess energy can be drained off.

Ultimately chiropractic and acupuncture are aids to the body but can’t be expected to do all the work. Patients must assist in their own care.

One way to assist in your own care is to eat something healthy before your treatment. The body is ultimately one big energy battery, and it is the circulation of this energy (acupuncturists refer to it as “Qi” energy) that maintains health and provides the energy to heal injuries and pathologies.

Food provides this source of energy, and the quality of the food determines the quality of the energy. Eating something healthy like fruit or a protein bar first thing in the morning before your treatment will go a long way in assisting the beneficial aspects of your treatment.

The second thing you can do is maintain adequate hydration of your body by drinking a lot of pure, uncontaminated water. This might not be as simple as it sounds as the citizens of Flint Michigan found out after lead contaminated their city water supply.

Southern Michigan and northern Ohio residents get their water from treatment plants drawing from Lake Erie. Although the water quality is generally pretty good, it can become suspect during periods of massive lake algae blooms or after storms where runoff can stress the treatment plants.

So how does one get healthy, pure water? The best way is through a reverse-osmosis system with an activated charcoal filter installed. That can be a bit pricey, so bottled water is an inexpensive option. In our home, we have a simple water dispenser that uses five-gallon jugs. We fill them for a couple dollars at the reverse-osmosis system at the local grocery stores for less than two dollars each. Faucet attachment filters also work but become pricey over time as the filters must be replaced often to remain effective. Usually, inside-fridge filters are paper-based and don’t contain the activated charcoal necessary to remove dissolved contaminants.

So, remember to drink eight full glasses of pure water every day to allow the body to efficiently carry nutrients to all its cells and flush out the waste materials.

Just utilize these few steps to increase the effectiveness and longevity of your acupuncture and chiropractic treatments. You’ll note faster recovery times and increased effectiveness.

Acupuncture and chiropractic are reaching critical awareness across America. While chiropractic benefits have been included for a few years, acupuncture benefits have only recently been added as coverage under veterans benefits, Ohio Medicaid plans, some mainstream policies like Anthem BC/BS, Workers Compensation, and recently even some Medicare supplemental policies. Check yours today!

Dr. Schwan is a Doctor of Chiropractic and a Diplomat of the International Academy of Medical Acupuncture. He is president of Schwan Chiropractic & Acupuncture Clinic in Toledo, Ohio. He is an author, lecturer, and one-time stand-up comedian and has maintained an active practice in Toledo, Ohio for the last 29 years. He is available for lay lectures and may be contacted at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..