Acupuncture Offers Pain Relief Without Side Effects

by Wendy Lind, RAc

Acupuncture, a safe alternative to pain relief treatments, clears the blockage of vital energy within pathways in the body. These pathways are called meridians and each is linked to a specific organ or organ system. Acupuncture is more effective than traditional drug therapies because it treats the cause and effect of pain.

Acupuncture can help relieve pain caused by physical trauma, muscle or bone weakness, injury, poor posture, physical strain or other factors. Pain caused by or associated with Rheumatoid Arthritis, Osteoarthritis, Carpel Tunnel Syndrome, Fibromyalgia, migraine or stress headaches, back pain and even cancer can all be treated effectively using this ancient Chinese therapy.

If you are considering acupuncture therapy, you will be well-served to keep a pain diary or record of your pain. Your Acupuncturist will be able to plan the most effective treatment therapy for you if you can succinctly and accurately describe the type of pain, how long you have experienced the pain and whether or not it is intermittent or constant. In other words, you should report if the pain is stabbing or dull and aching, confined to one area or radiating to extremities. Different treatment points are selected for each type of pain and with accurate information your Acupuncturist can treat you and relieve your pain in the shortest amount of time.

Each organ in your body corresponds to a specific pain and that organ needs to be stimulated to bring about pain relief. That is the first of three general steps in acupuncture therapy. The energy and blood flow to nourish the entire body and also targets the specific areas experiencing pain. Then the appropriate meridian to tap into is determined. Finally, the specific insertion points for the needles are mapped out.

The stainless steel needles an Acupuncturist uses are about the same thickness as a human hair. When they are inserted in to the identified treatment points, a message is sent to your brain via your central nervous system. When the signal is received, the brain releases endorphins, a natural brain chemical that helps in pain suppression, into your body.

Your Acupuncturist will develop a personal treatment plan that takes into account the nature of the pain i.e., chronic, intermittent, etc. and the source and/or cause of the pain, e.g., disease, lifestyle and other factors, and your medical history. During your treatment the needles will be inserted into appropriate treatment points and will be left in place for several minutes. Depending upon your response to treatment, several appointments over a number of weeks will be scheduled until long-term pain relief is realized.

Often pain sufferers turn to over-the-counter anti-inflammatory medications or powerful prescription drugs from a doctor. Both of these options can be harmful and both anti-inflammatory and muscle relaxant mediations can cause adverse side effects. This treatment option only provides temporary pain relief. Acupuncture results in long-term pain relief with no adverse side effects that can limit your activities or potentially harm your body and interact with other medications.

Acupuncture does not provide a one size fits all, instant cure for pain suffers. It takes time to restore your body’s energy systems to their properly balanced state. Some symptoms, though, may be diminished after only one treatment. The number of treatments your Acupuncturist determines you will need to achieve complete pain relief will depend upon several factors including how long you have been in pain, the cause and nature of the pain as well as how quickly you respond to treatment.

A truly holistic approach to pain relief, acupuncture therapy treats not only the pain but also the cause of the pain. Acupuncture is safe alternative for pain relief because it produces no adverse side effects or adverse reactions with other, traditional treatments or medications.

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