Adults around the world are expected to experience some form of pain at different points in their lifetime. While pain comes from a wide range of sources, such as inflammation in the joints or muscle pain from heavy lifting, it will sometimes last for several days, months or even years. Finding a solution to pain that is natural, effective and backed by scientific studies is easier than many individuals might expect.
Basics of Pain
Pain occurs when the nerves in the body send a signal to the brain that something is not right. It can occur as a fleeting moment, such as after stubbing a toe, or it can become a persistent condition, such as chronic back pain. The source of the feeling is the nervous system, which tells the brain that the body is somehow injured.
Traditional treatments for pain depend on the level of discomfort, the particular cause, the type of pain and the consistency. Chronic pain and serious injuries often result in the use of potentially addictive medications while minor discomfort is often managed at home with over-the-counter medications.
Problems with Medications
While medication is typically used in traditional pain treatments, it does come with potentially dangerous or serious side effects. Particular side effects vary based on the type of medication and the ingredients within it, but include common issues like bleeding risks, the development of stomach ulcers and the potential for overdosing.
Medications for chronic pain have potentially serious risks, such as the risk of addiction or serious health conditions that might occur with consistent usage.
The problems with medications are related to the risks associated with unnatural products. It harms the body over time and allows toxic build up, which can lead to further health problems in the future.
What is Acupuncture?
Acupuncture is a type of eastern medicine that originates in China and has spread throughout the world due to the natural impact on the body. It uses very thin needles at specific pressure points and areas of the body to heal without the use of medications or other products.
In Chinese medicine acupuncture is considered a way to unblock energy channels in the body. The old medicinal thought was that energy passages in the body become blocked by injuries and similar problems. The needles help re-balance the energy within the body. While the qi, or energy, theory is primarily based on traditional medicines that date back before science, new studies have proven that acupuncture can help in certain situations.
A primary application of acupuncture is pain treatment. The most common conditions that are treated with this natural remedy include back pain, headaches, joint discomfort and pain in the shoulders. Other types of pain are also treated with the acupuncture needles, but the usage varies.
Use in Other Forms of Pain
While acupuncture is primarily used for joint and back pain, it is also used as a complementary treatment for other needs. Certain ailments will often use acupuncture as a complement to traditional medicine to help with other discomforts that might cause problems for the normal treatment.
Acupuncture is often used as part of cancer treatment to relieve the pain of chemotherapy, radiation therapy and other treatments that are known to cause physical pain. By using the needles, cancer patients often report better quality of life and a reduced feeling of pain during the treatment.
Pain from other conditions, like shingles or spastic colon, are also treated with acupuncture. The needles help relieve the pain by causing the release of endorphins into the blood stream. The result is a pain-blocking impact that makes the problem less noticeable.
Acupuncture is a useful way to manage pain, but it is not a cure-all for every condition. When faced with pain caused by illnesses or chronic conditions, it is best to discuss the situation with a doctor and ask about complementary treatment for the pain with acupuncture.