Originating in China nearly 2,600 years ago Acupuncture is the practice of inserting and manipulating needles into specific parts of the body to help improve well being and overall health. Americans practice Acupuncture by combining practices from not only China but Korea, Japan, and some other countries.
It’s believed the body contains about 2,000 of these “points”. It works by restoring harmony and balancing the body's energy, stimulating natural healing and promoting better overall health. Treatments are individualized for each patient. Practitioners work both locally near the pain, and distally away from the direct location of the pain. There are many locations further from the back, when needles are inserted give immediate back pain relief. Electric stimulation and herbs are also used in some treatments when necessary. This benefits the patient by stimulating blood circulation and reducing inflammation.
Scientist still don’t truly understand how acupuncture actually works. It is proven to relieve pain and is believed to provide a rapid release of pain killing chemicals in the brain having an effect on the central nervous system. This release can have a positive side effect on ones blood flow and pressure carrying chemicals to the spinal cord and muscles promoting a greater sense of wellbeing. Theories are natural opioids in the body may be released from the brain. The bodies natural opioids are capable of lessening pain and inducing sleep.
It is estimated that nearly 31 million Americans suffer from back pain and remains the number one reason Americans seek relief from acupuncture practices. A new study, published in the journal Archives of Internal Medicine, concluded that six months of treatments with acupuncture was more effective at lowering chronic back pain than other conventional methods such as medications, physical therapy, or even exercise. Many have tried these methods and have also found only relief with experimenting with acupuncture.
Experts say almost 81 million people will experience some kind of back pain in their lifetime. Acupuncture and back pain has been a topic for debate among doctors and patients for a long time. New research now has doctors looking into the belief and usage of acupuncture for pain. New Guidelines have been released from the American Pain Society and College of Physicians. It’s being officially recommended doctors should consider acupuncture techniques as an alternate therapy treatment for patients with chronic lower-back pain that's hasn’t responded to conventional treatment. Acupuncture is continually gaining popularity in this country because it’s an effective treatment of chronic and acute backache. Acute pain can usually be cleared up in just a couple sessions. More treatments can be required if there’s an underlying deficiency, sciatica, or recurring problem.
Acupuncture pain relief is believed to be safe when performed by an experienced and trained professional. Rare side effects can include punctured organs and dermal infections, but still maintain less side effects than other standard treatments for back pain. If you're wondering if acupuncture is for you contact your doctor. He may be able to refer you to a trained professional. Also by contacting the American Academy of Medical Acupuncture, they can refer you to someone in your area.