When you hear or read the word “acupuncture,” you will most likely picture needles pressing onto one’s skin. Although it might look terrifying, acupuncture devotees say otherwise! Among its numerous benefits, it is currently well-known for helping ease chronic body pain.
What is Acupuncture?
As we all know, acupuncture involves the insertion of thin needles into the skin to stimulate muscles, nerves, and connective tissues. Once performed correctly, it can alleviate pain, tension, and stress.
It is a traditional Chinese practice that is becoming popular in Western medicine. Ancient Chinese believes that human health is a result of the harmonious balance of an invisible force called “qi,” promoting good mental and physical health. However, incorrect flowing of qi would result in different illnesses and severe body pain.
Acupuncture and pain management enthusiasts believe pain could be released by stimulating nerves, muscles, and connective tissues through specific body points called acupoints. Studies have been conducted to verify the mechanism of acupuncture and acupoints in one’s body. Studies have shown that acupuncture results in different biological effects on the central nerve system, peripheral nerve system, humoral factors and neurotransmitters, and other chemical mediators.
- Central nervous system. Studies showed that pain relief could be achieved by releasing different opioid peptides in the central nervous system called neuropeptides.
- Peripheral nervous system. It is necessary to have an intact peripheral nervous system to obtain the analgesic or painkiller effect of acupuncture.
- Humoral factors and neurotransmitters. Acupuncture significantly increases endogenous endorphin production and neurotransmitters. These include epinephrine, norepinephrine, and dopamine that are all responsible for relieving pain.
Since its introduction to modern medicine, hundreds of studies and research have already been conducted to prove the benefits of acupuncture for pain management. Other conditions can be treated by acupuncture, such as nausea, migraine headache, depression, anxiety, infertility, and insomnia.
Although acupoints are necessary to stimulate correct areas of the body to relieve pain, some areas pose an immense risk to needling. These areas are the following; the infant’s scalp area before the closure of fontanelles, external genitalia, nipples, and breast tissue.
In recent years, several clinical studies have supported the role of acupuncture for pain management. Acupuncture points are said to be most effective for head, face, and neck pain syndromes.
- Lower back pain. Most Americans experience low back pain; in fact, one-half of all working Americans happen to have back pain symptoms each year. Although medical treatments are available to treat chronic back pain, its long-term effects are still limited. That’s why acupuncture has become popular as a non-invasive alternative therapy in pain management.
- Neck and shoulder pain. One study shows that acupuncture and pain management treatment significantly reduced severe pain in neck and shoulders for at least three years. Additionally, acupuncture partnered with physical therapy can have a promising effect on the patient’s body pain.
- Headache. People who are suffering headaches or migraines can consider acupuncture as a holistic approach to treatment. It could soothe the pain and improve one’s sleep quality, mental health, and quality of life.
Get acupuncture for pain relief in Boulder and Broomfield, Colorado! Contact Marchand Orthopedic Acupuncture today! Call us at (303) 819-9967 for appointments.