Did you know 50 million Americans, which make just over 20% of the adult population, have chronic pain?
Chronic pain can restrict mobility and daily activities, cause dependence on opioids (and we all know about the opioid epidemic that is all over the news), it has been linked to anxiety, depression, even suicide, and definitely reduces the quality of life.
More and more people are seeking complementary and integrative health approaches to address their pain because they want to avoid the side effects of medications or simply because the medications are not enough.
The use of Acupuncture is growing. According to the National Institutes of Health (NIH), millions of Americans are utilizing acupuncture each year mainly for chronic pain.
Acupuncture is effective for pain, you might have experienced it already or maybe heard about it. But why? How does it work?
According to Traditional Chinese Medicine, acupuncture works by unblocking channels or meridians. We have different channels in the body where energy, called qi, and blood flows. When these channels get blocked, the tissues in the body don’t get proper nourishment and that leads to pain, lack of function or illness. Acupuncture needles, inserted over specific points over these channels, release blocked qi allowing the body to establish its natural function and to heal itself. There are other variations involved in how acupuncture works, such as the known opposing forces: yin and yang. When these forces are in balance, the body is healthy. When they are not, disease comes, and acupuncture may help restore this balance.
Even though this sounds convincing, there is no way to prove this scientifically so modern research has shown that YES! Acupuncture works and it works by its effects on the nervous, endocrine, and immune system, helping to resolve pain, improve sleep, digestion, and bringing a sense of well-being.
For the purpose of this blog, I will talk about HOW ACUPUNCTURE WORKS TO RESOLVE PAIN (all science-based) but stay tuned because I will explain in other blogs how acupuncture is so great for other things that you would have never imagined.
So this is what acupuncture does to your body and help you get rid of your PAIN:
- Acupuncture stimulates different areas of the Central Nervous System (CNS). When a needle is inserted into the body, it stimulates terminal nerve endings which send a signal to the CNS. This signal activates or deactivates certain areas to help you get rid of the pain. This has been proven using functional Magnetic Resonance studies (fMRI) and Positron Emission Tomography (PET) scans. A study that used fMRI showed that when vision-related acupoints located in the foot were stimulated (points used to treat eye diseases in Chinese Medicine), there was activation of the visual cortex of the brain.
- Acupuncture releases natural painkillers. Acupuncture stimulates the release of endorphins in the central nervous system, which are our natural potent pain killers.
- Acupuncture increases blood flow. Studies have shown that when acupuncture points are stimulated, high levels of Nitric oxide (NO) are released. NO dilates blood vessels, increasing blood flow which brings anti-pain substances into the damaged area resulting in pain relief.
- Acupuncture stimulates our healing mechanisms. When a needle is inserted in the body, it creates a “micro-trauma”. As the body heals this micro-trauma it also heals any surrounding tissue that has been damaged from old injuries or previous traumas.
Acupuncture is not magic, there is science behind it, it works and it is safe. There are NONE or minimal side effects. What can be better than that? Acupuncture produces a local analgesic effect that will get rid of your pain but it also has a global effect on the body so don’t be surprised if your digestion, sleep, anxiety or other complaints get better after you get treated.
If you are suffering from pain and would like to know if acupuncture could help, don’t hesitate to contact me, your initial consultation is FREE of charge. You’ll meet with me and together we will discuss your wellness goals and see if the services we provide are a good fit for YOU. Click here to schedule a FREE consultation: https://www.aliviaacupunctureaz.com/free-consultation or call (480) 243-2453.