Each day millions of Americans suffer from chronic pain. Chronic pain keeps people from working, affecting their jobs and ability to care for their families. Chronic pain affects the overall health of the body, as we generally seek a pill to rid ourselves of the daily aches and pains. There is an entire crisis that chronic pain has caused called the “opioid crisis”.
There are many aspects to chronic pain. Some people experience chronic low back pain as a result of an old injury, disc herniation or spinal surgery. Others experience neck and shoulder pain due to chronic tension stress & strain, others are recovering from an injury sustained during a motor vehicle accident. Each person is uniquely different, and as such should be treated according to their specific signs and symptoms.
This is where Acupuncture & Chinese medicine truly shines, as it is a medical system that pays attention to the individual, not just the symptom.
WE TAKE IT ALL INTO CONSIDERATION
Acupuncture & Chinese medicine seek to address the root cause of the pain, not just the “branch” or the symptoms. If you are experiencing neck pain and headaches every day, it’s important to address WHY you are experiencing this pain every day. The body was designed to be so flexible and healthy! We aren’t made to just “live with” chronic pain. It takes a toll on your mind, body, and spirit in the form of depression and anxiety. Other parts of your body will try to compensate for the chronically stressed or injured area, and will often start to become painful as well. It’s a vicious cycle.
Acupuncture works so well for most types of chronic pain. The reason for this is the nervous system, and the role it plays as messenger between your muscles and your brain.
What Is Acupuncture, anyway?
Acupuncture is a time-tested, clinically proven medical modality that involves inserting thin (very thin!!), solid stainless-steel needles into specific points on the body. The goal of acupuncture is to regulate the flow of life energy through your body, which is known as “Qi”. This is based on the belief that blockages develop within the body that prevent energy from flowing and cause health issues, including headaches, nausea, insomnia, sinus congestion and chronic pain, to name a few. It sounds esoteric, but it’s not. Your nervous system governs every single thing you do. Every breath you take. When you look at it this way, and see the effect Acupuncture has on the nervous system, you start to see how versatile this ancient health system really is.
How Can It Treat Chronic Pain?
Ancient technique, Modern research.
Studies have shown that when the needles are inserted into the acupuncture point, the nervous system is triggered (you can even see certain sections of the brain light up!) to respond. This causes a chain reaction that causes the brain to release endorphins. Endorphins are peptides that activate the body’s opiate receptors, resulting in an analgesic effect.
By triggering pain-relieving nerve responses via endorphins, acupuncture can relieve chronic pain. The needles are inserted along various points on the body to elicit these responses and promote healthy energy flow. This allows more oxygen and blood to reach congested areas, improving your body’s natural healing process.
This time-tested treatment is also considered a relaxing and restorative practice, as it involves reclining or lying down in a tranquil setting that allows the patient to rest deeply. As the body relaxes, our fight or flight (sympathetic) nervous system relaxes, and the rest & digest (parasympathetic) nervous system takes over. It is in this state that healing occurs, much like when you are asleep at night.
Whether you experience chronic knee, hip or back pain, migraines, cramps, even neuropathy - dealing with chronic pain can make even simple tasks more challenging. While over-the-counter pain medicines can offer some relief, they do not treat the underlying cause of the issue, which means you will likely continue to experience chronic pain. If you’re looking for a long-term solution, consider Acupuncture & Oriental Medicine. These ancient Chinese practices can help relieve and prevent chronic pain from various causes.
Acupuncture can help with all forms of chronic pain. In the event (rare, but does happen) that Acupuncture can’t help, our office will direct you to the best person/provider who can. We will work with other medical providers to make sure you get the very best results of eastern and western medicine.
To learn more about Acupuncture & Chinese Medicine, please visit us online at www.palmcoastacupuncture.com. You can also schedule an appointment and contact us via the website. We can also be reached by phone at 386-225-6134.
We look forward to helping you live life without chronic pain!
DR. HEATHER SCHUERLEIN DACM, AP, DIPL.OM