Acupuncture: a Champion for Pain Relief
Help with Arthritis, Depression & More
Acupuncture has been used for a long, long time to treat all sorts of ailments, including everything from aches and pains to infertility. In the Western world, acupuncture is treated with a certain amount of skepticism. In truth, the procedure is actually endorsed by the World Health Organization (WHO) for a couple dozen different conditions but how can sticking needles in your skin be good for you?
Acupuncture Triggers Natural Painkiller
Scientists have discovered that when an acupuncture needle is inserted into and rotated in an acupoint, the tissues surrounding the area get flooded by a chemical called “Adenosine.” Adenosine provides relief from pain by preventing pain signals from reaching your brain.
Acupuncture for Osteoarthritis?
Many people have found that acupuncture helps deal with arthritic back pain. The advantage of trying acupuncture for an arthritic condition is that unlike painkillers, acupuncture treatments can be adapted to your specific condition. Depending on what is causing your back pain, how severe it is and how long you have had it, acupuncture can attempt to realign the imbalances that have led to inflammation in the bones of your spine or shoulders.
Acupuncture can stimulate the nervous system to release natural neuron chemicals. These chemicals, like serotonin, endorphins and cortisol, return your body to a normal balance and reduce pain and inflammation.
In one clinical trial, 80 patients with confirmed cases of osteoarthritis of the knee were given acupuncture. Based on the results, researchers concluded that acupuncture is an effective treatment for knee osteoarthritis.
Acupuncture treatments are not painful – the needles are very thin and pass easily and effortlessly into the surface of the skin. You can combine acupuncture treatments with specific exercises and stretches that help loosen up your leg muscles. Alternate some of these stretches with half-hour rest periods where your legs are immobile. Lie flat on the floor if you can, and put a pillow under your knees for support. You should try to do the exercises regularly – doing them once won’t help much. Set aside a specific time each day and give yourself the time and attention that you need to complete them. You can even do them twice a day to keep our back loosened up.
Once some of your knee pain goes away, you can start to incorporate other forms of exercise back into your life. Biking, walking and swimming are all great ways to keep limber, strong and healthy. Manage your weight by eating a healthy, balanced diet. Extra weight puts a definite strain on the knee and leg muscles. Vitamin C, vitamin E and calcium can all help improve muscle and bone strength. Consider taking supplements while you are doing your exercise routine.
Acupuncture and Moxibustion for Bursitis
Bursitis is estimated to affect over 8.0 million Americans. It is a painful inflammatory condition that afflicts mostly those over the age of 45. Bursitis is caused by the inflammation of your “bursae”. Bursae are fluid filled sacs that lubricate and cushion pressure spots in your bones, tendons and joint muscles.
The condition usually results from a repetitive motion in a joint or excessive pressure on the joint. This can be something as simple as resting on an elbow or knee for long periods of time or the repeated bending of a joint. Swelling, redness, a dull ache and stiffness can all result. Tennis elbow is, for the most part, caused by bursitis.
Acupuncture has had some promising results in the treatment of bursitis. Needles are strategically placed in and near the area of inflammation around the bursal sac. In one clinical trial, the analgesic effect of acupuncture treatment on chronic tennis-elbow pain was studied. The researchers examined 48 patients before and after treatment. Half of the patients were treated at specific points for elbow pain following Chinese acupuncture rules. The other half were given placebo acupuncture, which avoided penetration of the skin with the acupuncture needle.
The results 56% in the “real” acupuncture group reported an overall reduction in pain compared to 15% in the placebo group. The average length of pain relief for those in the real acupuncture group was 20 hours, while in the placebo group, relief lasted for only an average of 1.4 hours. The researchers concluded that acupuncture has a significant effect in the clinical treatment of tennis-elbow pain.
Please speak with our staff to book an acupuncture treatment trial.