In the United States, over one-quarter of adults have experienced pain that lasts for more than one day. In most of these cases, the traditional self-treatment involves pain relieving medications and rest, however, acupuncture has been gaining popularity as a respected treatment for both acute and chronic pain. A recent study indicates that this medical practice can help decrease pain by up to 50%; for pain sufferers, that can mean the difference between lying in bed and being able to function.
What Is Acupuncture?
This ancient Chinese medical practice works by manipulating the flow of Qi (pronounced "chee") along meridians, or channels, throughout the body. Free-flowing Qi translates into good health. However, if Qi becomes blocked, deficient or overabundant in any particular area, this imbalance can cause pain, other symptoms, or even illness. To restore natural flow, an acupuncturist stimulates certain points along the meridians or along paths that connect two meridians.
What Types of Pain Can Be Treated with Acupuncture?
This Eastern medical procedure has been used successfully in many applications:
* Back pain
* Joint pain
* Neck pain
* Migraines or severe headaches
* Post-operative pain
* Menstrual cramps
* Osteoarthritis pain, especially in the knee
* Tennis elbow
* Carpal tunnel syndrome
What Are the Benefits of Acupuncture Treatment for Pain?
* More localized results with fewer negative side effects
Chemical pain relievers often cause a number of undesirable side effects. Such medications also affect the entire body, not just the portion that feels pain. In contrast, acupuncture creates far fewer side effects, and the treatment targets specific regions of the body as needed.
* More holistic approach
Pain medications, the most popular treatment method, introduce artificial substances into the body while treating only the superficial symptom: pain. Acupuncture manipulates the ailing regions to restore the flow of Qi and to bring the various organ systems back to harmony. By approaching pain as a body-centered problem, rather than a part-centered problem, the acupuncturist can even address the problem that is causing pain. This treatment offers a more natural, long-term solution for pain relief than many traditional Western methods.
* Improved quality of life
In addition to reducing pain, this procedure often produces desirable effects such as lower stress levels, better sleep patterns, improved mood, and increased energy. As a result, the patient becomes better equipped to manage pain, and the overall quality of life rises.
If it's been a while since you have had a treatment or if you would like to try acupuncture for the first time, call our office and we will set you up with an appointment.
Association of American Retired Persons (2012). Acupuncture Does Help with Pain.