Acupuncture: how it works and its benefits

Chronic pain, go away. Acupuncture is here to stay.


Ever go for a morning run or a 45-min cycling class and feel completely sore the next day? Or perhaps you can’t seem to feel relaxed at your desk job because of that lower back pain bugging you throughout the day? You try all the standard treatments--ice and heat, physical therapy, and topical pain relievers--but still to no avail? Acupuncture may just be the answer you need for your chronic pain.


Acupuncture has been used in Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) for thousands of years. It is based on the idea that the body is composed of invisible energy pathways called meridians. When the flow of energy (qi) is blocked, it causes an imbalance in the body resulting in health issues. Acupuncture is aimed towards correcting these blockages. It is the method of inserting hair-thin needles into the skin at specific points of the body. An alternative to opioids and pain medication, acupuncture is believed to remove toxins, increase relaxation, and release negative energy. In Western medicine terms, it is believed to affect the central nervous system, thus causing biochemical changes that stimulate the body’s natural healing response.

Acupuncture

A 2012 study concluded that acupuncture is effective as a treatment for chronic pain. A number of 18,000 patients were treated with acupuncture, “sham” acupuncture, and no acupuncture. Overall, those who underwent acupuncture experienced actual relief (around 50%) compared to the other patients.


Aside from chronic pain, acupuncture has been used to cure several ailments, including migraines, digestive problems, sciatica, and rheumatoid arthritis. If performed by an experienced practitioner, the procedure is nearly painless. Depending on the severity of pain experienced by the patient, it is recommended to receive treatment on a weekly basis. 


Acupuncture has become a growing natural alternative to the conventional use of pain medication. Although scientists have not been able to prove the existence of meridians in the body, the effectiveness of the treatment on relieving chronic pain is evidence of its benefits. So, why not give it a try? Your lower back can thank us later.

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