Acupuncture plays an important role in the elimination of pain, and gives us a valuable choice for the treatment of acute and chronic pain conditions. In 1997, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) conducted an extensive review of the scientific evidence for acupuncture. According to the panel, there is clear evidence in support of acupuncture’s efficacy for chronic conditions that benefit from the control of pain and inflammation, enhanced circulation, endocrine and immune function and the reduction of stress. The panel found a number of conditions for which acupuncture is extremely useful as an adjunct, alternative or complimentary therapy, particularly if included in a “comprehensive management program”. These conditions include: carpal tunnel syndrome, fibromyalgia, headache, low back pain, menstrual cramps, myofascial pain, osteoarthritis, tennis elbow, …(NIH p.2).
Acupuncture is a holistic method of encouraging the body to promote its own natural healing and to improve overall functioning. The modern scientific explanation is that needling the acupuncture points stimulates the body to produce natural steroids and release endorphins. Steroids decrease inflammation, while endorphins inhibit pain. These substances are 50 to 100 times more potent in relieving pain than many prescription drugs, and play an integral part in the elimination of the pain cycle.
Why is this important? Because evidence shows eighty percent of the damage to our bodies is not caused by the injury or disease itself, but by the inflammation the body responds with.
To date, Western medicine has not had a great deal of success in providing substantial pain relief solutions. The most popular form of treatment is through pain medication and anti-inflammatory drugs. Unfortunately, these options are not effective, often produce side effects more troublesome than the condition itself, Prescribed opiates have the potential to become addictive. Ibuprofen and other NSAIDs can do serious stomach damage over a short-term. Acetaminophen is hard on the liver and aspirin, the safest of them all, decreases liver function and blood clotting.
Acupuncture is a safe, painless alternative, and a very effective procedure for eliminating or relieving pain. Acupuncture can greatly enhance the effect of other therapies, as well as reducing unwanted side effects from conventional medicine