Ouch? Needle pricks could help relieve

Peijia Zhang , Editor-in-Chief

Orthopedic physician William C. Go Jr. said he believes that inserting needles in one’s body could help relieve pain.

Go said acupuncture increases the level of endorphin in one’s body, and the more endorphin, the less pain.

According to the American Academy of Medical Acupuncture’s website, acupuncture is a classical Chinese method to heal the body.

“This is done by inserting needles and applying heat or electrical stimulation at very precise acupuncture points,” the website says.

In 2006, Go took a  medical acupuncture training program in at University of California at Los Angeles to become a licensed acupuncturist. Go said the university’s program was  created in collaboration with Stanford University.

Go started his own practice in 1977 in Johnstown, and said he combined acupuncture and traditional Western medicine after his 2006 training to focus on pain-management.

Go said pain-management is not the only benefit of acupuncture. He said acupuncture treats almost every medical problem including infertility and headaches. He also said many psychiatrists use the practice to treat depression and anxiety.

Although acupuncture originated in China, Go said it has become popular in Europe, and many academic studies have been implemented in France, Germany and England.

Western and Eastern medicine is very different, according to Go.

“Most people want to get better faster, but acupuncture and herbal medicine improve you slowly.”

Go said acupuncture is a safe treatment because of its few side effects.

“The side effect is that you may bleed a little, but nobody that I know of has bled to death.

“Western medicine makes you feel better quickly, but if you’re allergic to the drug, it could kill you. Eastern medicine tends to work slowly, but if you have (an adverse) reaction to that, it won’t kill you.”

He also said many family practices and the U.S. Army use acupuncture  for pain and other medical problems.

Go said acupuncture was not popular in America until 1971, when President Richard Nixon brought national attention to it.

At least four other doctors in the area practice acupuncture. Some of them may not use much of it because acupuncture takes much more time than traditional Western medicine, Go said.

“I don’t think they do too much (acupuncture) any more,” he said.

Go said a session of acupuncture takes about 20 to 30 minutes, while traditional Western medicine takes a doctor about five minutes to treat a patient.

Another problem with acupuncture, Go said, is that insurance policies rarely cover it, which prevents many from benefiting acupuncture treatments.

“One problem with acupuncture is, the more you do it, the better you are.

“Once the insurance companies would cover it, I think people would be more willing to try it out.”