I'm a structural acupuncturist. This means that I use acupuncture to treat anatomical structures such as muscles and connective tissue that are injured, cause pain and inhibit function.
Here’s a list of what acupuncture can accomplish:
• Loosens hypertonic (‘tight’) muscles
• Disengages trigger-points (‘muscle knots’)
• Loosens connective tissue
• Breaks-up adhesions/scar-tissue
• Reduces inflammation
• Promotes healing
• Balances the Chi (‘life energy’)
I'm also a structural massage therapist. What massage therapy accomplishes is similar to acupuncture. In addition to the aforementioned bulleted points, massage also:
• Lengthens muscles/connective tissue
• Strengthens muscles
• Increases range of motion
The combination of acupuncture and massage therapy can make your recovery quicker and more complete. For this reason, I often recommend combining the two. But for those who prefer one therapeutic approach over the other, or in those cases where one has pronounced effectiveness, it’s perfectly fine to use just one therapeutic approach.
I either perform acupuncture and massage therapy at the same time, or else begin with massage therapy and end with acupuncture. It’s possible to perform acupuncture on one part of the body, say the knee, while massaging another part of the body, say the shoulder. It’s not possible to perform acupuncture on the same part of the body being massaged.