FAIRFIELD COUNTY, Conn. -- Fairfield’s Jim Fitzpatrick finds patients frequently try acupuncture after feeling pain or other physical distress.
“One of my favorite sayings,’’ Fitzpatrick said, “is using acupuncture after one is sick is like beginning to dig a well when one becomes thirsty.”
However helpful as an aid in pain, Fitzpatrick believes Acupuncture works effectively as a preventative measure for a wide range of physical and mental issues. Issues with depression, anxiety, schizophrenia, hypertension and cardiovascular disease are among the health problems that can be treated with acupuncture long before they become serious problems.
“Acupuncture and Traditional Chinese medicine are excellent preventative modalities,’’ Fitzpatrick said. “You don’t need to wait to be chronically ill or in significant pain to see acupuncture’s benefit.”
Fitzpatrick said five current acupuncture theories -- ranging from blood chemistry to the autonomic nervous system to vascular -- support it as a preventative measure for many people.
The Vascular-Interstitial Theory, for instance, postulates that acupuncture affects the body’s electrical system by creating or enhancing closed-circuit transport in tissues. It facilitates healing by the transfer of material and electrical energy between normal and injured tissues.
Perhaps the most surprising condition for which acupuncture might produce benefit is depression and anxiety. “Acupuncture seems to rapidly increase the release of peptides (amino acids) associated with the production of pleasure and relief of anxiety and gastrointestinal discomfort,’’ Fitzpatrick said. “According to research studies, it also has an onset time of approximately one week for various pains. The treatment of depression is probably related to the increase in peptide release.”
Fitzpatrick said the phrase “an apple a day keeps the doctor away” can also apply to acupuncture. “Daily treatments might not be feasible, but weekly treatments can certainly be highly beneficial in staying healthy,’’ Fitzpatrick said.
Ancient China, Fitzpatrick said, also realized the benefits of preventative acupuncture long before people even realized illnesses could be prevented. “Acupuncturists in the Middle Ages of China were responsible for individual villages. Villagers paid as long as they stayed well,’’ he said. “Once they got sick, the acupuncturist ceased to be paid. That, in part, is where preventative acupuncture originated.”
Acupuncture can be used to treat a wide range of maladies. Click here to visit Fitzpatrick’s website for health issues that can be treated with acupuncture.
Patients can receive treatment from Fitzpatrick adjacent to the Center for Integrative Health in Wilton, or facilities in Newtown and Wallingford. For more information or an appointment, contact Fitzpatrick at 203-257-4377 and click here to visit his website.