The Doctor Is In: How's your chi? Cincy doc combines acupuncture and internal medicine practice

CINCINNATI - Ever considered acupuncture to cure what ails you? 

It involves inserting extremely thin needles at strategic points around the body. According to the Mayo Clinic definition, traditional Chinese medicine explains acupuncture as a technique for balancing the flow of energy or life force, known as qi or chi (CHEE).

In the U.S., many doctors view acupuncture as a way to stimulate nerves, muscles and connective tissue. "This stimulation appears to boost the activity of your body's natural painkillers and increase blood flow," says the Mayo Clinic website. 

In 2012, researchers analyzed about 18,000 patients to find out how effective acupuncture was for treating chronic pain. The data showed "acupuncture outperformed sham treatments and standard care when used by people suffering from osteoarthritis, migraines and chronic back, neck and shoulder pain."

True believers say acupuncture can also be effective in a wide range of conditions, from depression to indigestion. Skeptics say any benefits can be explained away by the placebo effect. 

Originally a skeptic herself, Dr. Dorothy "Dotty" Shaffer tried acupuncture and now uses it in her internal medicine practice. 

"Tired of being a glorified pharmacist, I pursued acupuncture as another tool to help people get better," she said.

  • Watch the video in the player above to hear more from Dr. Shaffer uses acupuncture

More about Dr. Shafer

  • Education: Yale, Case Western University and UCLA
  • Specialization: Internal medicine and acupuncture
  • Practice: Full Spectrum Health Center, 3836 Reading Road, Cincinnati
  • Privileges: University of Cincinnati Medical Center, The Christ Hospital and Good Samaritan Hospital (Tri-Health)
  • Accepting new patients? Yes, for acupuncture only
  • E-mail: Telephone: (513) 221-2111
  • Healthgrades profile

(Video by Mark Bowen)

Connect with WCPO contributor Mark Bowen on Twitter: @markbowenmedia.

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