Chronic pain is a condition that affects more Americans than nearly any other ailment. This includes widespread diseases such as heart disease, cancer and even diabetes. The consumption of pain relievers, both over the counter and by prescription, have skyrocketed in the last decade. These drugs are not without their drawbacks however, as they can cause:
Additionally, while these pills may provide a temporary respite from the chronic pain suffered by millions, they do absolutely nothing to help heal the causes of pain or provide long term relief. Luckily, more people are discovering the field of acupuncture to address their struggles with pain disorders.
This field of medicine is considered to be an alternative treatment in the U.S., but it has been relied upon for centuries since its origination in China. The World Health Organization, or WHO, recognizes acupuncture as a valid treatment for symptoms relief in regards to the following conditions:
The applications of this field of treatment are far-reaching, and as increasing numbers of pain patients discover relief in their acupuncturist’s office, higher standards of health are being enjoyed all across the country.
Acupuncture for chronic pain works by stimulating the nervous system. Referred to in the treatment field as qi, energy and electric impulses are released from stimulating certain nerves through the insertion of hair-thin needles at specific points in the human body. Little to no pain or discomfort is caused by these needles, although many first-time patients may initially feel apprehensive about this practice. After the proper nerve pathways are stimulated, neurotransmitters called endorphins are released. These chemicals help to reduce pain and stress. This release of endorphins, along with other neurotransmitters that block the sensations of pain, make acupuncture for pain relief a safe and effective therapy.
Although acupuncture for chronic pain is not an instant cure, it has helped many people to regain their former lives while reducing or stopping medication regimens. You should always consult with your primary care provider before starting or stopping any therapies, but your acupuncturist can help to treat pain symptoms in tandem with your medical doctor. This bridge between old Eastern knowledge and modern Western science can provide a plethora of options for patients who may have otherwise given up hope for living a life free from chronic pain and discomfort.