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Avera Medical Minute: Acupuncture benefits patients by treating multiple issues in same session

Published: Feb. 21, 2021 at 11:07 PM CST
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SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (Dakota News Now) -

When neck pain and allergies were too much to bear, Elisabeth Hunstad when she decided to give acupuncture a try.

“Just at that point in my life where I tried other things for physical things mental health, all of it just kind of going, I don’t feel like I’m balanced maybe the way I want to be,” said Hunstad.

And the needles? Not too bad.

“You really don’t even notice them, I don’t think. If anything, maybe it’s a little prick here or there. I instantly felt kind of like going to the spa, you know,” said Hunstad.

Choosing the location for and inserting the thin needles is Avera integrative medicine physician Dr. Dawn Flickema.

“It kind of works like a little neurofeedback, so we’re picking and choosing different points along the peripheral nervous system to stimulate providing a feedback into the central nervous system to affect what it is that you’re trying to affect with your treatment,” said Dr. Flickema.

Acupuncture points are located in all areas of the body and can bring relief for many issues.

“Like gastrointestinal issues such as like reflux or heartburn, problems with bowel motility like constipation or diarrhea, those are all things that we can treat too with acupuncture,” said Dr. Flickema.

Before treatment, together you’ll choose which issues you want to be addressed in the acupuncture session.

“And target more than one thing with one treatment. And that’s often why we take a pretty complete history with the patient so that we can kind of tailor their treatments specific to their needs,” said Dr. Flickema.

The needles typically stay in for twenty minutes. Appointments were weekly. Now that she’s feeling better, Elisabeth visits Avera Integrated Medicine once a month. Her body reacts to the procedure.

“I get a little itchy. And every once in a while maybe bleeds just a little bit but that’s totally normal. It’s showing that it’s working. It really changed my life. I tell people that,” said Hunstad.

“Elizabeth is a good you know demonstration of, you know, what makes my job, fun, you know, watching patients kind of go through that journey of being able to address medical conditions and feel better,” said Flickema.

It’s a treatment she’s glad to have found.

“It’s really been so amazing for me,” said Hunstad.

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