How can inserting tiny needles in the skin possibly relieve pain? It’s a common question among those slightly more skeptical.
Brief answer: When a needle is inserted at specific acupoints, endorphins are released. Endorphins work as natural painkillers in the body and affect the part of the brain that controls our mood.
More in-depth acupuncture practices include moving the needle in specific ways, applying heat or using therapeutic herbs near the skin—also known as moxibustion.
The big question: Does it really work? Evidence is mixed on the subject, as acupuncture is a very personalized treatment and varies greatly depending on the individual being treated. However, acupuncture has a very low risk factor, so with an experienced practitioner, there’s little harm in trying the technique to manage pain.
Acupuncture has been the most successful in helping alleviate nerve pain, back pain, headaches, fibromyalgia, discomfort and pain associated with menstrual cramps, and joint pain associated with menopause.
Amidst a time of opioid overuse, the effectiveness of acupuncture is being more closely studied. It’s always advised you talk to your doctor about incorporating acupuncture and other complementary medicinal practices into your pain management care.
Have you tried acupuncture for pain management? Share you experience in the comments. Get in touch with Jaime to discuss a pain management treatment plan.