Dr. Gray's Straight Talk

Honest and blunt healthcare discussion and advice.

Archive for the ‘Acupuncture’ Category

Gray Chiropractic Chosen For NAIA Basketball Tourney

Posted by Dr. Gray on Wednesday, March 18, 2015

We are proud to announce, once again, that Gray Chiropractic has been chosen to be the chiropractic and acupuncture providers for the 2015 NAIA DI Men’s National Basketball Tournament being held at Municipal Auditorium. We’re looking forward to working with these fantastic athletes again, and we always get to see some great basketball. For more exciting news… we’ve also been asked to provide care for the Women’s National Championship Tournament being held at the Independence Events Center. Come on out to either event this weekend and give us a shout if you see us!


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Acupuncture for Pain & Other Symptoms

Posted by Dr. Gray on Wednesday, November 13, 2013

We are often asked, “What can acupuncture treat?” Fortunately, the answer is thousands of conditions. Unfortunately, it doesn’t work for everybody. At the end of the day, acupuncture is just another treatment method for addressing a multitude of conditions. As with any other treatment option, it is not a cure-all. Therefore, a more appropriate question would be, “What conditions does acupuncture have a good success rate in treating?” Again, the fortunate answer is TONS of them!

Here’s what a recent study published in the Journal of Neurology, Neurosurgery, and Psychiatry concluded with regards to the use of acupuncture for the treatment of pain in patients with multiple sclerosis:

This study demonstrates clear benefit from acupuncture as a treatment for pain in MS patients. … the sustained benefit of acupuncture as a treatment for pain was further confirmed by the fact that most patients managed to reduce their analgesia requirements, with some able to stop taking painkillers completely. There was some subjective improvement in mood, mobility and energy levels, and more than half felt their sleep pattern improved.

Source:  J Neurol Neurosurg Psychiatry. 2013 Nov;84(11):e2. doi: 10.1136/jnnp-2013-306573.177.

Now that’s a pretty good conclusion! Here’s another recent statement… this time from the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA):

Medical guidelines for back pain recommend the use of conservative treatments. A JAMA article published in April 2013 encourages patients with back pain to first try conservative treatments–exercises, physical therapy, chiropractic or acupuncture—and resort to surgery only when less invasive options fail.

However, a study published earlier this year in JAMA Internal Medicine confirms that many physicians don’t follow guidelines and instead refer back pain patients to surgery or write prescriptions for powerful pain killers.

Most of you that know me or follow this blog know that I am not an anti-med chiropractor. In fact, I think the chiropractic profession is limiting itself and derelict by refusing to fight for prescription rights. If it’s for nothing more than to offer an alternative mentality regarding pharmaceuticals, that would be worth it. The right to prescribe also affords a doctor the right to advise. The ability to advise a patient to discontinue a medication is just as important to their health as advising when medications are appropriate. But, I digress…

As noted above, too often physicians (not just MD’s, ALL physicians) don’t follow the appropriate guidelines. They continue to do what they’ve done in the past and what their pharmaceutical/medical device/practice management rep tells them. Most often, the physician is so busy that alternative options don’t pop into his/her head. As a patient, it is entirely appropriate for you to ask about alternative methods when you are discussing treatment options. Tell your doctor that you’ve seen references in JAMA recommending acupuncture, or chiropractic, or physical therapy, etc. Tell them that you’d prefer to try less invasive treatment options before resorting to powerful pharmaceuticals or surgical procedures. Your doctor will not be offended by this, and will likely appreciate that you are taking an active role in your health care.

– Dr. Gray

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Back To School…

Posted by Dr. Gray on Wednesday, August 22, 2012

August/September… Summer is winding down… We’re getting the kids back to school. We can learn a lot from our children…

They go through their summer, sleeping in until noon, only waking to grab the phone to see who’s text messages they’ve missed. Once they’ve replied and made potential plans for the coming evening of blissful lack of responsibility, they grab a bite to eat and flip on the tube or Facebook and “check in.” However, once school starts back up (perhaps with a little coaxing), they’re up at 6:00 AM fixing their hair, organizing the backpack, grabbing a bowl of cereal, and catching the bus or driving themselves to school. In short, once they recognize that it’s time to get the job done; once they are expected to be responsible; once they know there is no alternative… they just do it. They may not be happy about it. They may complain and rebel. They may resist… but, in large part, they do it. Decision made, this is what has to be done, let’s go.

Now… as an adult… who are you responsible to? Let’s put this in perspective.

How many of you know and acknowledge that “It’s time to quit smoking?” … “It’s time to start exercising?” … “It’s time to start taking care of myself?” But who is there to kick your lazy butt into gear? The answer is: YOU. We teach our kids that we all have responsibilities, and when it needs to be done, you just do it. We EXPECT them to honor their responsibilities and do their chores. There are consequences if they don’t… but, do we hold ourselves to the same level of accountability? If you demand that your student get up and go to school, but continue with habits that you KNOW you shouldn’t be doing, then you’re a hypocrite. How can you expect to hold their respect, if you won’t practice what you preach? What kind of lesson are you teaching them; or, example are you setting if you tell them one thing then do another?

Let’s take this time to show our children what it really means to be responsible. Let’s make the decision that the time is now to “get it done.” No more “New Year’s Resolutions…” no more, I’ll quit ____ once I turn 40… 50… etc.” Do it now.

We’re here to help. At Gray Chiropractic, we have three doctors and a massage therapist on staff to help you achieve your health care goals. Combined, all of our doctors have over 30 years of experience in dealing with sports injuries, addictions, painful conditions due to years of hard work, acute injuries, chronic pains, tendinitis, carpal tunnel syndrome, headaches, lower back pain, etc. We have helped patients from the grandmother struggling with duties at church to the infant with a bad case of colic. We’ve helped people quit smoking. We’ve helped people lose weight. We’ve relieved years of pain. Traditional chiropractic care, acupuncture, supplementation, nutritional counseling, strength and conditioning, rehabilitation, … you name it, and we can help you achieve your goals.

So… get off your ass and make an appointment with us today. Whether it’s a simple, tune-up adjustment, or a full nutritional work-up, you know it’s time to start leading by example. If you want your children to make smart health decisions, then you must show them how it’s done. Lead by example. Hold yourself accountable. Make the decision that there is no alternative… there are consequences if you don’t… and, get it done. Do the right thing.

Dr. Gray

Posted in Acupuncture, Carpal Tunnel Syndrome, General Back Pain, General Chiropractic, General Health, Headaches, Low Back Pain, Neck Pain, Nutrition, Stretches & Exercises | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Acupuncture… Does It Work?

Posted by Dr. Gray on Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Found a great article in the Wall Street journal from March 2010. In it, the journalist gives an account of her experience with acupuncture, and details some of the new scientific evidence proving the effective results associated with this form of treatment. For me, this was a great and timely article. I am often asked, “How does acupuncture work?” Well, you all know that I am often honest to a fault, therefore, my answer usually begins with, “We don’t exactly know!” Wow… now if that doesn’t inspire confidence, I don’t know what will! (obvious sarcasm)

A technique that has been around for 5000 years or so has got to have some validity to it, right? So why are there so few scientific studies and such little research done on the subject? The answer to that question is two-fold:

First, I believe that we do not yet fully understand how to evaluate and quantify the effects of the biomagnetic and bioelectric fields that surround and travel through us. Physics can measure, predict, and detail very accurately the electric and magnetic fields created by the interaction of positive and negative charges when we pass electricity through a copper wire. On a very basic, simplified, and cellular level, the interaction between nerves, cells, and other tissues in our body is not that different from passing electrons through a wire. In nearly all functions of the body, there are positive and negative charges being exchanged, transferred, or retained in and between our cells. Individually, this interaction between two cells may be extremely small. However, collectively, these interactions could theoretically develop significantly large biomagnetic and bioelectric fields due to the interaction of positive and negative charges. This model could explain why many seemingly strange techniques work; such as: acupuncture, applied kinesiology, contact reflex analysis, muscle testing, etc. Many of these techniques involve weird and unexplained responses from the manipulation or interference with these fields; such as holding a particular food item causing the strengthening or weakening of a muscle. At this point in time, we just don’t know how to measure or evaluate these responses. Most of these techniques also suffer from interexaminer deficiencies… which means, different practitioners may do an examination on the same patient yet interpret the results differently. Here’s the strange part… even though different results are obtained from examination, and different acupoints may be chosen for treatment, positive outcomes from treatment are still realized… and outperform placebo!

The second reason that research and documentation is scant on acupuncture and energy-based medicine is… say it with me folks… Follow the money!!! That’s right, boys and girls. There’s no money in it for the pharmaceutical, insurance, or medical corporations. Acupuncture, chiropractic, kinesiology, and other energy-based techniques are largely practitioner-based. Face it; if they can’t bottle it and sell it, they’re not going to support it. Who do you think pays for all those research papers in JAMA, NEJM, or any other “peer-reviewed” research journal? And why do they pay for or support these research articles? Because they expect a return on their investment. I don’t have a problem with it… that’s the way the free market works, and I’d rather have it that way than have some moron in Washington deciding what’s good or not (besides… who do you think is paying that guy?). All I’m saying is that the lack of big-money research doesn’t necessarily mean that something doesn’t work. Like I’ve told you before, in anything you read or hear (including this blog!), consider the source and motivation behind what you’re hearing. The pharmaceutical industry is a trillion dollar per year industry… why would they finance, support, and publish any research that encourages a medical treatment option that renders their products unnecessary? Not gonna happen.

That said, there were a couple good videos included with the Wall Street Journal article linked above. Having trouble embedding them here, so follow the link and watch them there. I’ll update this page if I figure out how to embed the video here. If you want to go directly to the videos: here’s the first one… and, here’s the second one.

Dr. James C. Gray

Posted in Acupuncture, General Back Pain, General Health, Low Back Pain, Neck Pain, Other Pain Conditions | Tagged: , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments »

Acupuncture For Children With Headaches

Posted by Dr. Gray on Wednesday, January 21, 2009

A German study published in the July 2008 issue of Pain, a prestigious peer-reviewed medical journal, has shown significant evidence supporting the use of laser acupuncture in children suffering with headaches. Children involved in the study suffered from either chronic migraines, or chronic tension headaches. Advanced techniques (double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled) were used to ensure valid outcomes. Across the board, those who were treated with acupuncture fared much better than the placebo group. Headache days were less following treatment. Headache time was decreased following treatment. And, headache severity was also decreased following treatment with acupuncture stimulation.

Each treatment is individualized based on the patient and their body’s needs. Subjects in this study were treated based on the theories of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) and meridian balancing. Stimulating acupoints with a laser is relatively new, but offers a pain-free method of treatment that works wonders with children. The anxiety associated with needles is avoided, and the risk of injury associated with a child playing with inserted needles is negated.

I’ve got children and know how helpless a parent feels when their baby is sick or in pain. The last thing we want to do is expose them to even more discomfort or fear. We want to put them at ease and then use treatment techniques that are comfortable, have a good chance of helping, and minimize any potential negative effects. Laser acupuncture fits all of these. It’s comfortable for the child. In fact, they rarely feel anything at all when laser stimulation is used. We’ve just discussed its effectiveness. And, with laser acupuncture, there are no potential negative side effects… it either works or it doesn’t.

If you, or your child, suffer with headaches, we’d like to invite you in for a brief examination to determine if yours is a case for laser acupuncture. Call us today at (816) 795-1121 to schedule your appointment.

Dr. Gray

Gray Chiropractic is a full-service natural health care office in Independence, east of Kansas City. For further information check our website www.graychiropractic.com.

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Acupuncture – What Is It?

Posted by Dr. Gray on Monday, October 13, 2008

Historians have stated, “More people have benefited from Acupuncture over the course of fifty centuries than the combined total of all other healing sciences, both ancient and modern.”

That’s a pretty profound statement when you consider the advancements in healthcare over the past hundred years. I am regularly asked to explain acupuncture to our patients. I’ve decided… that there’s really no easy way to describe it! Yes, there are varied canned responses and textbook definitions, but they, too, are filled with theories and assumptions.

From the International Academy of Medical Acupuncture:

Acupuncture, simply stated, is a health science which is used to successfully treat both pain and dysfunction in the body.

Acupuncture has its roots deeply planted in China. In fact, authorities agree the science is between 5,000 and 7,000 years old. Its use spread throughout ancient Egypt, the Middle East, the Roman Empire and later into Western Europe as merchants and missionaries to China told of the amazing discoveries the people of the Orient had developed. Acupuncture did not become known on a national level in the US until 1971 when diplomatic relations between China and America were relaxed.

At first glimpse, Acupuncture appears strange, as its primary notoriety is the utilization of needles placed in the skin at various locations to relieve pain or affect a body part.

Early Chinese physicians discovered there is an energy network traversing just below the surface of the skin which communicates from the exterior to the internal organs and structures over 1,000 “Acupoints” on the body. This energy works in harmony with the body’s circulatory, nervous, muscular, digestive, genitourinary and all other systems of the body. When this vital energy becomes blocked or weakened, an effect in a body system or anatomic location becomes evident. Stimulation of one or a combination of key “Acupoints” on the body may restore harmony to the affected area.

Personally, I think the study of acupuncture and what we know of it is about to explode. We have come so far in the ability to measure energy, magnetism, electromagnetic fields, bioelectricity, etc. I think we are going to find definitive and measurable proof that there is, indeed, a network of energy (innate, chi, qi, etc.) that affects and plays a role in the autonomic functions of the body. Recent studies have documented near instantaneous reactions within the brain and nervous system following stimulation of seemingly far removed acupoints. Although these reactions are documented, the underlying etiology of why or how they occur is not fully understood.

Compare this to aspirin. For the first 40 or so years, scientists had no idea how or why aspirin worked to relieve pain and inflammation. However, it became the most widely used pain reliever in the world. Why?… Because it worked! With acupuncture, the only difference is time frame. Although the underlying etiology is not completely understood, it works! For over 5,000 years, acupuncture has been taught, studied, and practiced with widespread success and positive treatment outcomes.

As with other treatment methods or options, acupuncture is not a panacea. It will not work for everyone or every case, but there are a ton of conditions and scenarios when acupuncture will be the most effective treatment method available. In one recent case, I had an elderly gentleman that we had been fighting a case of severe hip pain. Now, this may not be typical, but after one treatment, he was nearly pain free in the hip.

Why did his case respond so well to acupuncture when it had failed to respond to so many other treatment methods? I’m not sure. What I do know is that acupuncture is what his body needed. Although you may not need acupuncture for every single case, for those cases that need acupuncture… you won’t get optimum results without it.

Posted in Acupuncture, General Back Pain, General Health, Low Back Pain, Neck Pain, Other Pain Conditions | Tagged: , , , | 1 Comment »

A Short History of Medicine

Posted by Dr. Gray on Monday, July 28, 2008

Doctor, I have an ear ache.

2000 B.C. – “Here, eat this root.”
1000 B.C. – “That root is heathen, say this prayer.”
1850 A.D. – “That prayer is superstition, drink this potion.”
1940 A.D. – “That potion is snake oil, swallow this pill.”
1985 A.D. – “That pill is ineffective, take this antibiotic.”
2000 A.D. – “That antibiotic is artificial. Here, eat this root!”

Posted in Acupuncture, Fibromyalgia, General Chiropractic, General Health, Headaches, Nutrition, Prescription Medicines | Tagged: , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Welcome to our blog!

Posted by Dr. Gray on Thursday, July 24, 2008

“The doctor of the future will give no medicine, but will interest his patients in the care of the human frame, in diet, and in the cause and prevention of disease.” – Thomas Edison

Okay… I’ve had patients constantly asking for more and more information… I’ve been inundated with emails… and, frankly, there’s too much untrustworthy junk on the internet. The purpose of this blog will be to answer many of your questions before you ask them, to debunk a lot of the myths regarding health care, and hopefully to provide realistic and usable information. Too often, you read that this vitamin is good for that, and that exercise is good for this. However, in the very next journal/article/blog/etc., you can read the exact opposite advice. I will attempt to provide some info you can trust and use.

Back to the Edison quote… pretty profound, huh? Of course, he was living before our fast-food society. We have become a lazy people who want to do whatever we want to and with our bodies, then get a quick fix when the consequences begin to take their toll. Think about it… do you think you still suffer with migraines because you haven’t had enough Excedrin yet? Do you think your heartburn is caused by a lack of Prilosec? Is depression caused by a Prozac deficiency? What a crock! Come on, people! Wake up!

I plan to use this blog to speak to you frankly. I’m not going to beat around the bush. I won’t mince words. I am going to give you some straight talk about all of the crap you’re hearing in the media, and all of the crap you’ve convinced yourself to believe. I’ve actually had patients try to tell me they’re drinking plenty of water each day, because that’s the number one ingredient in their soda. Well, I’m not putting up with ridiculous excuse-making here! It’s going to be honest, straight-forward, tough love from here on out.

So, buckle up and bring your thick skin. You’re going to hear what you need to hear, not what you want to hear on this site. Make sure you subscribe or bookmark this page and check back often. Post some comments, send me an email, whatever… I hope you learn something.

Dr. Gray

Posted in Acupuncture, General Chiropractic, General Health, Headaches, Nutrition | Leave a Comment »

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