I love that even though I’m asked this question regularly, people still come in whether or not they understand the process. Acupuncture seems like magic for when people are in physical pain or have severe headaches. And although Acupuncture works for far more than just pain - this article would turn into more of a novel if I surpassed the content to digestion, reproductive and mental health. But lets look into the most common question I’m asked - how does acupuncture work to treat pain in the body?
Acupuncture has been seen as a useful tool for many different pain symptoms including back and neck pain, osteoarthritis/knee pain, and headaches, including migraines.
During treatment, we use needles, heat and pressure to specific “acupoints” on the body. It is the theory that invigorating these points help to redirect the Qi or energy in the body that has been blocked or imbalanced. To try and simplified this: we hold on to a lot of tension throughout the body. This can be so minor we cannot even notice the impact until the tension or blockage manifests into something more - like say a headache, a stiff neck, etc. I think what is most important to understand, is how powerful stress really is. Even when you might not think you are, you could still be holding more than you realize.
Acupuncture has been seen to reduce the incidence and severity of tension headaches and may prevent migraines.“Therefore, the NIH concludes,“acupuncture appears to be a reasonable option for people with chronic pain to consider.”
Practical Pain Management found that pain relief with acupuncture comes from inactivating the source of pain by modulating endorphin levels. These authors also reported on the benefits of acupuncture for temporomadibular joint disorder (TMD).
A good visualization that is often discussed is comparing these blockages in the body to water stuck behind a dam. This can lead to pain, lack of function or illnesses in the body. By manipulating these points, the treatment can help to release and stimulate the function.
We have found that acupuncture has had effects on the nervous system, endocrine, immune, cardiovascular and the digestive system. This stimulation can help to resolve pain, improve sleep, release stress and improve functions such as digestion.
Acupuncture is a preventative health tool. It helps us maintain balance in the body by releasing and invigorating different points through this manipulation of Qi. Circulation is an important aspect of this treatment as well as strengthening the body. Ultimately, it is not a cure as much as a technique to provide relief from problems we ultimately need to face ourselves. Are you over training? Are you not drinking enough water? How is your diet? What is your sleep like? I love that TCM requires such a thorough investigation. This is what ultimately brings awareness to the lifestyle and empowers the individual to start taking more responsibility and action for their own well-being. The needles sure help, but it is always the holistic approach that will find you the best results.
Interested in booking an appointment with me?
I treat at Elements Studio in Brisbane. Feel free to send me a message, I'd be happy to find some time to help!