Pain can range from mild, localized discomfort to agony. It has both physical and emotional components. It may be contained to a discrete area, as in an injury, or it can be more diffuse, as in disorders like fibromyalgia. Pain is mediated by specific nerve fibers that carry the pain impulses to the brain. Pain is present in various conditions such back and neck pain, osteoarthritis/knee pain, menstrual pain, and headaches, including migraines. Acupuncture therapy is always a first line treatment for the treatment of pain and/or the underlying condition when appropriate.
How does acupuncture work for pain relief?
Acupuncture treatments work on two fronts: treating the root causes of the pain and alleviating the pain itself. Pain relief with acupuncture comes from inactivating the source of pain by modulating endorphin levels. Needling affects the cerebrospinal fluid concentrations of the naturally-occurring opiate substances acting at the spinal level or within the brain.
- Natural Opioid Substances Activation – needling increases circulation and relaxes tense muscles.
- Local Blood Flow – acupuncture increases local blood flow to the painful area.
- Corticosteroid Release – needling stimulates vascular and immuno-modulatory factors, including those of local inflammation.
Acupuncture also shows promise as a complementary therapy to control symptoms in the treatment of cancer. In fact, Western doctors have used acupuncture to treat the pain, fatigue, nausea and vomiting caused by chemotherapy.
Herbs & Pain
Chinese herbology addresses pain by first diagnosing and treating the root of the pain. In addition, herbal products can support pain relief whether it is due to trauma, acute or chronic disease. Several product types are used:
- Patent formulas – used to treat common pain types such as headaches, sore throat, knee pain.
- Custom formulas – no two patients and pain manifestation and type are alike; this is why our dispensary can prepare custom formulas tailored to each presentation.
- Patches & Ointments – various products are available to treat pain externally for joint, muscular or tendon pain
Please make sure you inform us about all medications you are currently taking as some herbs are contra-indicated with certain pharmaceuticals.
Did You Know That…
The Joint Commission issued a mandate in relation to opioids requesting that proactive steps be taken to encourage health care providers to prioritize non-opioid pain management options, including acupuncture.
What About Ear Acupuncture for Pain?
Ear acupuncture is a viable alternative to existing fast-acting pain relief methods. It can be an easier treatment to adjust to. Ask us if it is suitable for you!