Acupuncture can be used to treat a wide range of ailments, from digestive conditions to problems linked to the menopause, from anxiety to chronic fatigue. This ancient system of healing can also be used to relieve and manage pain. At Good Health Centre we use acupuncture to treat patients with all types of pain. Here we take a look at how it works.
Studies have looked at exactly how acupuncture works as pain relief and there are two main theories: one believes that the needles inserted into acupressure points send impulses through the body that travel faster than pain impulses, thereby blocking them. The other believes that treatment by acupuncture releases endorphins into the bloodstream and it is this that helps to relieve pain.
According to the British Acupuncture Council:
“In general, acupuncture is believed to stimulate the nervous system and cause the release of neurochemical messenger molecules. The resulting biochemical changes influence the body’s homeostatic mechanisms, thus promoting physical and emotional well-being. Stimulation of certain acupuncture points has been shown to affect areas of the brain that are known to reduce sensitivity to pain and stress, as well as promoting relaxation and deactivating the ‘analytical’ brain, which is responsible for anxiety.”
The British Acupuncture Council is keen to point out that “an early systematic review of acupuncture for chronic pain found very limited evidence to support it”. However, subsequent studies have found that acupuncture treatment is more effective than no treatment or ‘sham treatment’ for chronic back pain, knee pain and headaches.
We use acupuncture in our individual treatment plans for patients with different types of chronic pain, including lower back pain, pain from arthritis and from sports injuries, nerve pain including trigeminal neuralgia, trapped nerves and sciatica, migraines and tennis elbow. We also feel it can help to relieve pain caused by chronic muscle strains and plantar fasciitis.
The benefits of acupuncture frequently include more than just relief from a particular condition. Many people find that it can also lead to increased energy levels and improved sleep, as well as an enhanced sense of overall wellbeing.
If you’d like to find out more about managing your pain through acupuncture, get in touch with us for help and advice. Call us on 0113 237 1173 to make an appointment.
Our acupuncture practitioners are all registered with The British Acupuncture Council. Find out more about who practices acupuncture at Good Health Centre.
The British Acupuncture Council website has a number of factsheets on the use of acupuncture to treat a variety of conditions
Our blog post on the use of complementary therapies in the treatment of migraine.
Our blog post on how complementary therapies can be used to treat whiplash.