Acupuncture for pain relief

The ancient art of acupuncture has been used in Asia for centuries to treat many conditions and relieve pain. It’s now being used in the Australia and other Western countries to ease everything from low back pain, to nerve pain (such as painful shingles rashes), sciatica, to headaches, fibromyalgia, and menstrual cramps — and more.

Traditional Chinese acupuncture involves the insertion of

extremely fine needles into the skin at specific “acupoints.” This may relieve pain by releasing endorphins, the body’s natural pain-killing chemicals, and by affecting the part of the brain that governs serotonin, a brain chemical involved with mood.

Acupuncture works particularly well on chronic pain such as back and neck pain; osteoarthritis/knee pain; and headache. It often reduces the incidence and severity of tension headaches and may prevent migraines

Pain relief with acupuncture comes from inactivating the source of pain by modulating endorphin levels. Acute pain is also relieved by acupuncture and helping your body to increase endorphins works well in managing pain of fibromyalgia, post-operative pain, shoulder pain, and myofascial pain. Some researchers specifically recommend acupuncture for the facial pain of trigeminal neuralgia and of TemporoMandibular Joint (TMJ) dysfunction.

Myofascial pain otherwise known as trigger point to most is relieved primarily by inactivating the source of pain. Acupuncture apparently alleviates the awareness of pain.

It’s the endorphins and enkephalins are potent blockers or modulators of pain arising from the musculoskeletal system. Dynorphin is a powerful modulator of visceral pain; it has a weaker effect on musculoskeletal pain modulation. Therefore acupuncture has not only been shown to be beneficial in treating muscle aches and pains but also digestive pains and other internal organ pains that we typically would use pain medications for.

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Here’s some other ways acupuncture is thought to help with pain management

Read on for those who love a bit of science

The neurogate theory

Similar to the mechanism of the action of widely used trans-cutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS), the neurogate theory has also been offered as an explanation to the blockade of pain. The close correlation between local acupuncture points for pain and trigger points as noted by Melzack3, co-author of the gate theory of pain, represents a major convergence of Western and Eastern knowledge.

Endogenous corticosteroid release

The presence of a foreign body (needle) may act to stimulate vascular and immuno-modulatory factors, including those of local inflammation. Adrenocorticotrophic hormone has been shown to be elevated after acupuncture treatments, suggesting that adrenal activation and the release of endogenous corticosteroids may also result.

Myofibrillary entanglement

Acupuncture may induce relaxation of ‘stuck’ myofibrils within tissue planes. This is thought to have a similar effect to the injection of painful trigger points (a common procedure undertaken in pain clinics).

Local blood flow

In causing minor trauma to an area of the body, it is postulated that acupuncture may increase local blood flow to the surrounding area. This may initiate or catalyze the healing process.4

Mesolimbic loop of analgesia

The mesolimbic pathway is one of the neural pathways the brain that link the ventral tegmentum area in the midbrain to the nucleus accumbens in the limbic system. It is one of the four major pathways where the neurotransmitter dopamine is found and produces a pleasurable feeling when stimulated.

It is postulated that, in chronic-pain patients, the mesolimbic loop is in a state of imbalance. After a relatively brief (30 min) period of stimulation with TENS or EA, a self-sustaining reverberation is set up, causing a re-setting of the pain-modulation pathways. This theory may well account for the long-term analgesic effects seen frequently in clinical practice

See someone with whom you are comfortable.  Shane helps me feel so relaxed that i nearly “fall(s)  asleep on the table.” More importantly, I get pain relief, at first temporary, then more and more pain relief which lasts longer with each treatment.  Combined with Nutritional care to enhance the bodies stable state.

A client said once