Can Acupuncture ease physical pain?
Many people turn to Acupuncture for pain relief. Acupuncture not only relieves pain but also helps to maintain a pain-free state over time through a course of ongoing Acupuncture treatments.
So how does Acupuncture relieve pain?
When needles are placed they stimulate points along the peripheral nervous system. Signals travel up the spine to the brain and trigger a series of reactions that decrease physical pain, relax muscles, improve range of motion, and increase blood flow to areas of stagnation. These effects are often felt immediately after the needles are inserted.
Restoring blood flow and healthy circulation is important in Chinese Medicine because blood carries oxygen to all the body’s tissues and organs. Blood also delivers hormones, nutrients, immune cells, naturally produced analgesics, and more. Blood stagnation is the number one cause of disease, illness, and chronic pain conditions. Resolving blood stagnation is the mechanism Acupuncture uses to allow the body to heal itself from within.
Most of the Acupuncture points used for pain relief are on the arms and legs and involve nerve nodes on the peripheral nervous system that are part of a proprioceptive pathway. The needles stimulate these nodes and reboot the pathway by jumping the neural signal threshold to stimulate the brain to release endorphins and encephalin painkillers, and restore blood flow and range of motion to the area. After a period of time, from a few hours to a few days, the proprioceptive signal weakens again and Acupuncture can be used again to reactivate this sequence of physiological reactions to heal the painful area.
An Acupuncture treatment plan is tailored to each individual based on the onset and severity of pain. Initially, 2-3 times a week may be the prescribed and then overtime the frequency is reduced as pain is brought under control. Chronic pain conditions build up over time and take longer to heal than acute pain conditions.