The Surprising Benefits of Acupuncture

renown acupuncture reno

It may be artistry more than 3,000 years old, but today, medical acupuncture is a popular and growing method for a variety of aches, pain and ailments. Discover more about this holistic healthcare option and learn what our new medical acupuncture center has to offer the community.

Despite overwhelming evidence in the medical community, some people still question the validity of acupuncture. Many Americans view it the same way they view snake oil. But the truth is, acupuncture is now a staple in integrative medicine that nearly anyone can benefit from.

Integrative medicine — an evidence-based medical practice that treats the whole person and not just the illness — is more than a growing trend. This holistic approach to healthcare is helping individuals across the world live full, healthy lives with treatments that complement Western medicine. acupuncture

By addressing the complete health profile — mind, body and spirit — integrative medicine is also taking people beyond the doctor’s office and the operating room, and empowering them to take charge of their health.

Integrative medicine utilizes treatments such as massage, yoga, chiropractics, herbal medicine, meditation and acupuncture to facilitate overall health and healing. This idea of addressing the complete health picture and recognizing the connection between mind and body is growing in popularity and is no longer viewed as a fringe practice. Many medical schools now offer classes in non-traditional therapies, and today’s medical students are learning a holistic approach to healthcare that helps patients and doctors better manage health conditions.

Acupuncture Care Options Expand in Northern Nevada

Renown Health is on the leading edge of the integrative medicine movement with a newly dedicated medical acupuncture center.

The center offers acupuncture and other Chinese and traditional medical techniques to complement and enhance Western medical treatments for a wide range of illnesses and conditions.

Nontraditional procedures and therapies also serve healthy patients, helping them live fuller lives and prevent the onset disease and illness in the future.

“On the Western side of medicine we don’t spend a whole lot of time thinking about relaxation and harmonizing,” says Howard Chen, MD, medical director of preventative and integrative medicine. “So on the Eastern side of medicine, we deal with body movements and ways of living that help people become more harmonious with the environment as well as their own inner selves.”acupuncture

In an effort to satisfy the local demand for acupuncture, Renown has expanded its team of acupuncturists. Susan Park, MD; Justin Chang, DO; and Samanda Durand, DO; join Dr. Chen in opening a new Medical Acupuncture facility

The new facility features five private exam rooms and an educational library, in addition to a group acupuncture area.

“We are excited about the opportunity to be able to offer the community more access to acupuncture as we believe that almost everyone can benefit from acupuncture,” Dr. Chang says.

What is Acupuncture?

Acupuncture is a medical art utilized for over 3,000 years. In this process, fine, sterile needles are inserted in the body at various locations to create a pathway for the flow of energy.

It is believed that disturbances in this flow disrupt the body’s harmony and result in illness, disease and dysfunction. Treatment seeks to enable the body to balance itself.  

What is Medical Acupuncture?

Medical acupuncture describes acupuncture performed by a physician trained and licensed in both Western medicine and acupuncture as a specialty practice. Current knowledge of pathology, anatomy and physiology and the principles of Western medicine enhance the benefits of acupuncture as a complementary treatment.acupuncture

The National Institutes of Health and the World Health Organization both recognize the use of medical acupuncture as a viable, complementary treatment in tandem with Western medicine.

And while acupuncture is often associated with pain control, both organizations endorse the technique for treating a variety of illnesses and medical conditions including stress, tension and mental/emotional concerns; digestive disorders, neurological and muscular issues; respiratory disorders; and menstruation and reproduction.

Should You Try Acupuncture? 

The use of acupuncture as a complementary therapy to Western medicine — not simply an alternative therapy — is becoming more widespread. Acupuncturists today receive training to better help them integrate with conventional medicine, and requirements for licensing are more stringent.

Studies have provided evidence of the efficacy of acupuncture, and, in many cases, insurance covers services. When properly performed by a licensed acupuncturist utilizing sterile needles, medical acupuncture can safely offer relief for a variety of medical conditions.

Low back pain:

The side effects of acupuncture for low back pain are substantially lower than many drugs and medical conventions used to treat this chronic condition. Studies have shown that acupuncture combined with Western medical treatments offers more benefits to patients than conventional medicine alone.


Acupuncture in tandem with western medical treatments, including pain-relieving drugs, has proven to reduce the frequency and/or severity of migraine and tension headaches in many patients.


While the medical community continues to study the effects of acupuncture on depression and mental health issues, current information shows that some patients suffering from depression, especially women, respond well to it.

Cancer Side Effects:

Chemotherapy patients often experience debilitating nausea and vomiting. Acupuncture in combination with anti-nausea medication has emerged as a viable treatment for these symptoms. 


The benefits for stroke victims continues to be researched. Current studies show that many patients experience relief from conditions resulting from stroke including chronic paralysis and spasticity — even patients who have suffered with these health issues for many years.


In some cases acupuncture has been shown to enhance reproductive medical procedures, including in vitro fertilization (IVF). It may also stimulate blood flow and egg production in women.

For more information or to schedule an appointment with an acupuncturist, call (775) 982-8255 or visit


  1. That is really nice that acupuncture has proven to reduce the frequency of headaches. Maybe getting acupuncture is something I should try out to reduce my headache. Then I wouldn't be in pain or irritated all day when I have a headache.
  2. I have been reading about how acupuncture can benefit allergies. I thought it was cool to learn that some people's insurance will even cover acupuncture. I will definitely look into whether or not I can get acupuncture services covered by my insurance!
  3. It's nice how you said that acupuncture can help you to treat headaches if you use pain pills as well. My wife has really been struggling with headaches lately and getting her some relief would be really great! We'll have to look into hiring an acupuncturist that lives nearby.
  4. I like that you mentioned that acupuncture can help to treat headaches. I suffer from headaches every day, and I am always looking for ways to reduce my pain. If acupuncture really can reduce the severity of headaches, I will have to give it a try, thanks for sharing!