Acupuncture is a complementary therapy that is increasingly used in the day-to-day management of pain. Acupuncture involves inserting fine needles at acupoints to un-block Qi or stagnated energy. This is to restore balance and Qi flow for the body to heal and thus reduce the pains.
In the traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) system, the body is in a delicate balance of two opposing forces: yin and yang. Yin represents the cold, female, or passive principle, while yang represents the hot, male, or active principle. TCM works on the premise that health is achieved by maintaining the body in a ‘balanced state’ and that disease occurs when there is internal imbalance. This imbalance leads to blockage in the flow of Qi (vital energy) along the meridians.
There are up to 356 mapped acupoints on the body surface located along meridians or channels of energy flow. It is believed that there are 12 main meridians and 8 secondary meridians and that there are more than 2000 acupuncture points in the human body that connect with them.
From a western point of view, research has shown that during acupuncture, the brain sends signals and releases endorphins that reduces pain. This is a natural way to stimulate your own body to manage the pain without using medication.
The benefits of using acupuncture for pain management are:
-Natural, no medication
-Positive side effect of your body system balancing itself thus bring health in other areas
-Works on treating the root cause of the pain, rather than just reducing symptoms
Acupuncture Techniques for Pain Management
Needles are inserted at different acupoints to a depth of 4–25 mm and left in place for a period of time (up to 20 minutes). The sensation is often described as a tingling or dull ache at the entry point. Many people say they feel very relaxed or sleepy, and some report increased energy levels afterwards.
Electro acupuncture (EA)
A tiny focused electric current is applied to the needle itself, and the current is felt. Just a slight sensation is enough to achieve results.
We employ both techniques at Elements TCM Clinic.
Examples of pains that can be effectively managed by acupuncture:
-Sciatica: Sciatic nerve is very deep nerve, so physical manipulation takes a very long time. Acupuncture can stimulate effectively healing at that depth.
-Common desk bound ailments: stiff neck, carpal tunnel