Acupuncture Therapy and Pain Relief

This article was written by Michael Barthelmess. He discusses the early history of Acupuncture Therapy and how acupuncture has been proven to provide pain relief without the use of medicine or even surgery.

acupuncture therapyWhen Acupuncture was first introduced to the United States, it was its effectiveness at pain-relief which caught the public’s attention. In 1972, when the New York Times reporter James Reston received acupuncture treatment for post-operative pain relief, he was so impressed with the results that he wrote about acupuncture on his return to the United States.

While in China, acupuncture’s effectiveness has been trusted for thousands of years, it is only in the past 40-50 years that acupuncture has been practiced and accepted in the west. Two recent studies conducted at the University of Heidelberg in Germany and at the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey (UMDN) have shed light on the effectiveness of acupuncture in treating pain in patients. Based on the results from the experiment at Heidelberg, more patients who received acupuncture treatment experienced more pain relief than patients who had received a placebo.

Acupuncture and Pain ReliefIn the study conducted at UMDN, patients were given an external pain stimulus while receiving acupuncture for pain relief. During this period, patients were asked to rate their level of pain. While receiving acupuncture treatment, patients reported less pain from the external stimulus and MRI results showed that activity reduced in areas of the brain that respond to pain. The UMDN experiment demonstrates that when acupuncture is performed, the brain response to pain is also reduced. This result coincides with the belief that acupuncture, when performed properly, has the ability to effectively control and reduce pain by stimulating endorphins, the body’s natural chemical that blocks pain.

Many acupoints are located near nerves. When certain muscles are stimulated with acupuncture needles, the muscle sends a message to the central nervous system causing the release of endorphins. These endorphins block the message of pain from being delivered to the brain.

Acupuncture Therapy has been shown to be effective in treating many kinds of pain. Acupuncture is effective at treating chronic pain, headaches, menstrual cramps, lower back, neck and muscle pain. Additionally, acupuncture is effective at treating arthritis, facial pain, pain from cancer as well as post-operation pain.

In the U.S., one in four adults report to have experienced some form of pain for more than a day.

Acupuncture is becoming the most trusted alternative form of medicine for pain relief and unlike conventional medicine, it has little to no side effects. More than 3 million people every year receiving acupuncture treatment in the US attests to the effectiveness and safety of acupuncture in pain relief.

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For more information on Acupuncture Therapy

Acupunctuer NeedlesThe History of Chinese Acupuncture

 A Visual Guide to Acupuncture (Source: WebMD)

Diseases & Disorders Treated with Acupuncture (Source: World Health Organization

Acupuncture Points (Source: Wikipedia)

The Regulation of Acupuncture (Source: Wikipedia)

Acupuncture for Arthritis (Source: WebMD)

Acupuncture for Back Pain (Source: WebMD)

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