Acupuncture has been used for centuries in the treatment of pain conditions. Pain in traditional Chinese medical terms is due to a blockage of energy in the meridians that flow through the body. Not only does acupuncture treat the pain but it also stimulates rejuvenation and regeneration of tissue in the area of the pain .
Modern research is only just starting to understand how acupuncture works in the treatment of pain conditions. Previous research in the west has demonstrated that acupuncture can benefit many conditions that have pain as a symptom.
In one study, as revealed in the Annals of Internal Medicine, it was shown that acupuncture can treat osteoarthritis of the knee. In another study it was found that acupuncture can help relieve tension headaches and migraine.
Some of the pain conditions that have been shown to have favorable success with acupuncture include
- Nerve pain
- Lower back pain
- Menstrual pain
Scientific evidence has demonstrated that acupuncture relieves pain by the release of endorphins, the body’s natural pain killing chemicals, and that acupuncture affects part of the brain that releases serotin, a brain transmitter that controls mood.
Japanese acupuncture uses very shallow insertion of needles and can be just as effective and sometimes even more effective as deeper needling techniques. This mechanism is not understood in modern scientific terms.
Harvard Medical School stresses that patients seeking acupuncture to help any pain conditions should consult an experienced licensed acupuncturist. In the United States it is suggested to see a member who has been accredited by the National Certification Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine. In New Zealand, acupuncturists who are members of the New Zealand Register of Acupuncturists Inc have all had at least 4 years full time training and are accredited ACC treatment providers.