Acupuncturists at The Acupuncture Clinic get many inquires, asking how acupuncture works for pain. Even after more than 2000 years of continued use of acupuncture for pain, there are still skeptics and people who require proof that it works. There have been former research studies in the West confirming that acupuncture is effective for back pain but the skeptics still argue that patients believed that the acupuncture would work. Now there is new research validating the reasons why acupuncture for pain works. Dr Nina Theosohn of the Radiological Society of North America presented the evidence at a recent Chicago conference.
The research involved giving people mild electric shocks whilst having acupuncture needles inserted and then analysing the results from MRI scans. The results speak for themselves. There was a direct dampening effect on the brain’s processing centre.
The researchers concluded that acupuncture isn’t just psychological and that the “Activation of brain areas involved in pain perception was significantly reduced or modulated under acupuncture.”
In Chinese medical theory, pain is simply looked as a blockage of energy in the meridians. There are meridians for each major organ of the body and they traverse the body from the feet to the head connecting and interlinking with each other. If, for example, someone sprains their lower back, the bladder meridian will be affected as it runs up next to the spine. Acupuncture points locally on the bladder meridian near the area of pain and some acupuncture points on the foot may be used to promote free flow of energy through the meridian.
Once the energy flow can be restored through the meridian again, not only can pain be relieved but also tissue regeneration is stimulated. This why certain conditions like arthritis, prolapsed discs and torn ligaments can actually regenerate and recover without the need for surgery or a lifetime sentence of pharmaceutical ingestion. Reduction and elimination of pain is just the first step on the way to restoring normal function.
The treatment of pain with acupuncture is enhanced with the addition of the related modalities moxibustion and cupping. Both these techniques aim to improve blood circulation and thus promote tissue regeneration.
Many pain conditions as a result of injury are covered by the Accident Compensation Corporation (ACC) in New Zealand.