OHSU

Acupuncture

The OHSU Comprehensive Pain Center (CPC) offers Medical Acupuncture for the treatment of chronic pain. Medical Acupuncture is the term used to describe acupuncture performed by a doctor trained and licensed in Western Medicine who has also had thorough training in acupuncture as a specialty practice.

How does acupuncture work?

The classical Chinese explanation is that channels of energy run in regular patterns (meridians) through the body and over its surface. These meridians are like rivers flowing through the body to irrigate and nourish the tissues. The meridians can be influenced by needling acupuncture points. Needling can unblock obstructions in the river and reestablish regular flow through the meridians. Western medicine has shown that needling acupuncture points stimulates the nervous system to release chemicals in the muscles, spinal cord, and brain. These chemicals will either change the experience of pain, or they will trigger the release of other chemicals and hormones which influence the body's own internal regulating system.

What conditions can be treated with acupuncture at the CPC?

Acupuncture has been recognized by the World Health Organization (WHO) in the treatment of a wide range of medical conditions including headaches, neck pain, frozen shoulder, tennis elbow, various forms of tendonitis, low back pain, sciatica and osteoarthritis. The OHSU Comprehensive Pain Center uses acupuncture to treat these conditions when appropriate.

Is acupuncture treatment covered by health insurance?

Some insurance companies currently cover acupuncture therapy; others do not. Acupuncture is not a covered Medicare benefit. Our office staff will talk with your insurer about this coverage before you begin therapy.