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6/18/2004 6:00 PM
(Elizabeth Harness, WROC-TV)

Acupuncture has been in existence for more than two and a half thousand years as a way to ease and increase the flow of energy through the human body. More and more doctors are using the treatment in conjunction with medicinal therapies. In Rochester, almost all insurance plans will cover the alternative therapy which uses needles.

“She just had chronic back pain,” says Tammy Sample of Greece about her eight-year-old daughter, Deana. Deana was involved in a car accident two years ago, leaving her with an injury to her lower back.
She could not sit or stand for long periods of time and was unable to play actively with other children.

“It got to the point where I was purchasing four bottles of Ibuprofen a month just to help mask her pain,” says Tammy.

Deana’s mother took her to numerous doctors for a year after the accident, trying to pinpoint the cause of Deana’s pain. Deanna’s pediatrician recommended that the little girl undergo acupuncture.

Within a week of her first two treatments, Deana was able to move around normally.

“She was a totally different person,” says Tammy about her daughter, who now loves to climb trees and play baseball.

Rochester acupuncturist Paul Rooney treated Deana’s condition. While she was a more severe case of pain, Rooney says he treats children as young as seven months up to adults in their early 90s.

“Give acupuncture a try and if it doesn’t work, then seek out the pharmacological or surgical treatment route,” says Rooney, who also treats patients with digestive, menstrual, migraine and chronic muscular problems.

According to Rooney, acupuncture works by way of ultra light, thin needles which he compares to being “as thin as a cat's whisker.” The needles are then tapped into a handful of specific points on the body. In all, there are up to 600 acupuncture points on the human body.

“Patients don’t feel the needles as one might think,” says Rooney, “they feel the tapping more than they do the insertion.”

Once the needles are in place, Rooney attaches ion pumping chords to the points, which he says allow the energy to flow through the body.

“Acupuncture helps ease the muscle tension and promote the beginning of healing in the patient,” says Rooney.

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