How Does Acupuncture Work to Relieve Pain?
Acupuncture has been part of our history. Also, we have seen a lot of studies showcasing its benefits – where it can help in relieving pains. But we dive into the details of how acupuncture works for pain relief, let’s learn its history and its importance. Let’s also discover if acupuncture really works.
History Behind Acupuncture
Acupuncture has its origin in China. Known as the one that stimulates the constant flow of energy to the human body. China and other Asian countries are using this to treat a number of diseases for hundreds of years. The treatment is based on the theory that the human body consists of channels or meridians through which the “life force” or Qi flows.
What is Qi and the role it plays?
Qi comes into play as soon as you use acupuncture on your body. This is a Chinese unit of length that is part of the human body. It creates positive energy or life force in the human system. The use of acupuncture provides the relief and vibrations that your system requires. Allowing positive energy to take over your body. This is highly essential especially if there are negative factors around you.
How does acupuncture work?
Acupuncture is a method of using very thin but strong needles. With careful application, the needles are being inserted into your body. The process of insertion must be in such a way that the channels are being unlocked. Also, by maintaining a continuous flow of Qi. The goal of acupuncture is to release these blocked meridians. letting the Qi flow through the body again
This flow of energy, which circulates through the meridians, acts as a communication network. It promotes healing and normal functioning of the body systems. We also need to consider the complex network of connective tissue known as the fascia system. The fascia system literally connects everything in the body. It has shown that fascia and connective tissue conduct energy. This could be the biophysical basis of the communication system affected by acupuncture.
What the Science Says About the Effectiveness of Acupuncture
Acupuncture is a treatment option for a variety of diseases. The results of studies suggest that it can help relieve various types of common chronic pain. It can aid in relieving back pain, neck pain, and osteoarthritis/knee pain. It can also help reduce the frequency of tension headaches and prevent migraines.
Acupuncture is considered one of the best options for people with chronic pain. As such its sessions are aimed at eliminating the causes of chronic lower back pain, arthritis, and other aches or pains. Thus, patients can thus benefit from general physical well-being and natural healing. But, the guidelines for clinical practice do not align with the acupuncture recommendations. The effects of acupuncture on the brain and body and the best way to measure them are only gradually being understood. Existing findings show that many factors play an important role in the positive effects of acupuncture.
Common Types of Acupuncture
In this type of acupuncture, the needles are twisted as soon as they are inserted into the body. Also, they are stimulated with a gentle electrical current. It gives the patient a tingling sensation that some practitioners claim aids healing.
The most common type of acupuncture. Fine needles are being inserted from toe to head in different parts of the body. The treatment is used to fight a wide variety of medical conditions.
In this type of acupuncture, fine needles are being inserted into the ear. The procedure is helpful in combating related addictions such as alcoholism or smoking. The combination of auricular and body acupuncture can help treat infertility for women.
But, Does Acupuncture Really Work?
In 2017, ‘The Acupuncture Evidence Project: A Comparative Literature Review‘ by John McDonald and Stephen Janz showed that there are about 117 conditions with evident effect. This Acupuncture Evidence Project reviewed a total of 122 conditions. It also features that acupuncture is treating beyond musculoskeletal pain.
Featured about 8 conditions with positive effects that support the effectiveness of Acupuncture. Below is the summary of the conditions showing strong evidence supporting the effectiveness of acupuncture.
Below are the conditions having evidence of potential positive effects. or with moderate evidence.
Take in mind that a professional acupuncturist is essential in delivering its effectiveness. Thus, make sure that you are opting for the best care from a professional. Also, in this way, we can avoid the risk associated with this therapy.
Health Benefits of Acupuncture
- Acupuncture works wonders in relieving chronic back pain, arthritis, or musculoskeletal pains.
- It is also beneficial for people with insomnia and sleep disorders.
- Helps control addictions such as alcoholism, smoking, and drug addiction.
- One of the best advantages of this type of therapy is that it is a holistic treatment method. It takes care of all health problems and disorders.
- Helps to replenish energy levels that are gradually falling due to age, stress, or anxiety.
- This type of therapy strengthens the circulatory system and improves the body’s immunity. Therefore, it helps patients to prevent diseases.
- It is very beneficial for people who regularly experience headaches and migraines.
Patients may experience some side effects and this includes:
- Among the common injury reported with this therapy is accidental lung puncture. This can lead to partial organ collapse, causing a pneumothorax.
- Another type of side effect is an infection and viral hepatitis. This is due to dirty and reused needles.
However, it shows that most of these injuries are due to insufficient training. Therefore, it is vital that the therapy center or clinic remains hygienic. Also, many people think that needles hurt a lot. But the pain is only a fraction and not as severe as the injections. This is because the needles are better than the doctor’s syringes.
Some people feel energized from the treatment while others feel relaxed. Depending on the location of the treatment, the patient may sit or lie down before treatment can be carried out properly. After insertion, the patient may feel a slight tingling sensation in the area, warmth or heaviness, or nothing at all.
Here is a list of the risks to be considered during the therapy:
- It is dangerous for any patient with a bleeding disorder or bleached skin layer.
- Unsterilized needles may infect the patient easily. It is essential that the therapy center must clean and maintain proper hygiene.
- Needles may break and may result in damaging an internal organ.
- Cases where the needles are inserted deeply into the chest or upper back. It has been reported that there is a risk of collapsed lung even though it rarely happens to patients.
Frequently Asked Questions
Does Acupuncture Really Hurt?
The whole process is being called as a painless process, but the degree of pain varies from person to person. Most patients reported that there was little or very little pain. It is like the pain you feel when you pluck your hair. The other thing to note is that the treatment as a whole also depends on the expertise of the acupuncturist. It should be understood that it may not provide instant relief from the disease. A single visit to an acupuncturist is not enough.
What are the Conditions/illnesses acupuncture therapy can treat?
Acupuncture has shown to be successful in many conditions. It can also be used in a wellness program to keep the body functioning optimally. Some of the most common diseases supported by it are the following: back pain, neck pain, knee pain, headache, plantar fasciitis, tennis elbow, neuropathy, radiculopathy, and problems with intervertebral discs, fertility, insomnia, TMJ and many other diseases.
How often do I need acupuncture treatments?
The frequency and number of treatments vary from person to person. Dramatic relief from some patient experienced with their first treatment. In the case of complex or long-term chronic diseases, one to two treatments per week for several months can be recommended. Acute problems typically require fewer visits, typically eight to ten visits in total. A personalized treatment plan with the expected number of treatments will be discussed on your first visit.
Looking for a Professional Acupuncturist in Coquitlam?
Evergreen Rehab & Wellness in Coquitlam offers a variety of acupuncture treatments. We also offer this service to our Surrey clinic. We specialize in Acupressure & Tui-na, Facial Rejuvenation, Injection Therapy, and Cupping Therapy. You may also directly book an acupuncturist in Coquitlam using our online app.