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Why You Should Consider Acupuncture for Chronic Pain

August 27th 2018
While there are many treatments available to help alleviate chronic pain from conditions such as migraines, fibromyalgia, and arthritis, most of those involve medication or fairly invasive procedures. If you’re experiencing chronic pain and looking for a more natural alternative to traditional therapies, you may want to take a closer look at acupuncture.

What is acupuncture?

Most people think acupuncture is simply sticking tiny needles into the skin all over the body, but acupuncture is more “scientific” than that. Acupuncture is based on the theory that your body has patterns of energy flow known as qi (pronounced “chi”) through the body. The qi flows through pathways (meridians) in your body. When those pathways are disrupted or out of balance, the imbalance can lead to illness or pain.

Fortunately, those meridians can be accessed via any of the 350 acupuncture points in your body. By gently inserting very thin needles into specific acupuncture points, the qi is brought back into balance your body begins to heal.

How is acupuncture used?

Acupuncture is used to treat a myriad of health problems from addiction to Tourette’s Syndrome. Although you’ll find people choosing this alternative therapy for a variety of different symptoms, the most common—and most successful—reasons for trying acupuncture include treatment for the following:
  • Osteoarthritis
  • Rheumatoid arthritis
  • Headaches and migraines
  • Back and neck pain
  • Knee pain
  • Tennis elbow
  • Fibromyalgia
  • Nerve pain
  • Chemotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting
Acupuncture is also used to treat menstrual cramps, high and low blood pressure, carpal tunnel syndrome, facial pain, asthma, and addiction. It is thought to even help patients with stroke rehabilitation.  

What are the benefits of acupuncture?

People who regularly use acupuncture experience a variety of benefits including:
  • Natural relief from symptoms
  • Minimal side effects
  • Minimal risk when administered correctly
  • Ability to combine acupuncture with other treatments
  • Use as a substitute for traditional medicine (important for those who can’t take pain medication)

Are there any risks associated with acupuncture?

While acupuncture has only a handful of risks (most relate to poor hygiene and training of the acupuncturist), you will want to keep a few things in mind before moving forward with treatment.
  • Acupuncture is dangerous if you have a blood disorder or take blood thinners.
  • You may experience some bleeding or soreness where needles are inserted.
  • Unsterilized needles may cause bacterial infections where needles are inserted or viral hepatitis.
  • Although rare, needles can break and damage an internal organ.
  • Though extremely rare, a needle can puncture the lung if inserted too deeply into the chest or upper back.
Occasions of broken needles and punctured lungs are very rare. As long as your acupuncturist is trained and uses proper hygiene in her practice and you’re not dealing with any crazy blood issues, the risks of acupuncture are minimal.

If you’re suffering from chronic pain due to conditions like migraines, headaches, neck and back pain, fibromyalgia, and arthritis and you’re looking for an alternative to traditional medicine, take a deeper dive into acupuncture. A rebalancing of your qi may be just what the doctor ordered!

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