Acupuncture is an ancient treatment modality that is backed by thousands of years of documented success. Unfortunately, it is often used as a treatment of last resort. This is because our education is grounded in western science, which has no clear explanation for why or how acupuncture works. It is unfortunate because, in comparison to surgery and prescription painkillers, acupuncture is virtually painless, side-effect free, and imposes zero additional recovery time on the patient after each treatment session is completed.
When people do eventually come to acupuncture, they find it to be as, or more effective than other treatments they have tried so far. This is especially true for the treatment of chronic pain, inflammatory disorders, addiction, and more.
Acupuncture in Pain Management
Where this treatment modality shines is in managing pain. Acupuncture alters the way the nervous system functions, by allowing it to send fewer unnecessary pain signals to the brain. It does this by tapping into the ability of the brain and the nervous system as a whole to manage pain in healthy ways.
Consider the way a small child reacts to pain compared to an adult. When children get a bump or scrape, they often cry bitterly as if they have been badly wounded. An adult’s pain response will tend to be less pronounced. This is because an adult will know on an experiential level and an intuitive level that superficial damage is not a threat to her or his existence.
In short, our nervous systems mature as we do. Therefore, it can be said- based on long experience with the practice- that acupuncture can help our nervous system to develop more refined responses to pain.
Common Types of Painful Illnesses That are Successfully Treated Using Acupuncture
You will find that the types of pain acupuncture is best at treating are the ones that are caused by a disproportionate response of the body to injury or illness. Inflammation, for example, is what happens when the body responds to a perceived threat. But that response can be harmful if it is not properly regulated.
Rebecca M H Kitzerow is a Licensed Acupuncturist practicing in La Center, Washington. With over a decade of experience she has won 10 Nattie consumer choice awards from Natural Awakenings Magazine since 2014.