How Acupuncture Treats Pain

Acupuncture is an ancient Chinese therapy that is used to treat a variety of different ailments, including pain. The idea of placing hundreds of tiny needles into a person’s skin can be intimidating, but it really does work. Western medicine is slowly beginning to recognize the effectiveness of the ancient practice, although most cannot explain it, so they are skeptical. Acupuncturists are becoming more popular and can help those suffering from chronic pain.

The tiny needles used in acupuncture are strategically placed in a person’s skin. Only trained, experienced and certified professionals should be allowed to administer acupuncture treatments. An acupuncturists will know exactly where to place the needles to control and eliminate the pain. There are several theories about how this is actually achieved, but all agree it is possible.

The needles are placed along nerve pathways that eventually join together in the spinal cord. These pathways are believed to be how pain signals are transmitted to the brain. The needles can be viewed as roadblocks so to speak. The needles are believed to stop the pain signals from ever reaching the brain. This theory has been heavily researched and is one that is favored among Western doctors.

Another theory that many believe is the simple idea of causing minor pain in another area of the body to take away from the more serious pain. However, this theory does not explain how the pain relief extends long after the acupuncture needles have been removed. Some also chalk up the pain relief to mind over matter. A person who has suffered from chronic or severe pain will most likely accept any theory, as long as it works.

Scientists have their own theory about acupuncture. They believe the pain relief may be the result of endorphins being released into the body. Endorphins are naturally occurring pain relievers. The endorphins are found within the central nervous system and have the same qualities as a dose of morphine. The act of acupuncture causes endorphins to be released into the system and ultimately reduces or eliminates the pain.

Although there are several theories about how acupuncture works, there is no doubt that it does. The traditional theory is a more holistic approach. Traditional acupuncture was done to help keep the body in perfect harmony. A balanced body is healthier physically, spiritually and mentally.

Acupuncture is a relatively fast-acting pain relief method. The relief may come within seconds of the first needle being entered into the skin. The effects can last several weeks or months. The idea that real pain relief can be achieved without invasive surgeries or potentially dangerous medicines is appealing to most people. Acupuncture is less expensive than a long term dependence on prescription medication or an expensive surgery.

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