Acupuncture has been used all over the world for thousands of years. In 1997, the Consensus Development Program for the NIH (National Institute of Health) recognized the value of acupuncture as a therapeutic intervention aligned with complementary medicine.
WHO (the World Health Organization) recommends acupuncture for the treatment of many conditions and diseases associated with musculoskeletal and neurological disorders.
Millions of adults in the United States receive acupuncture treatment every year. The most common reason patients undergo acupuncture is for the treatment of chronic pain. The Harvard Medical School Health Blog reports that not only is acupuncture effective for chronic pain, pain can be improved by about 50%. That’s a lot! You can read the article here.
Acupuncture points seem to have denser sensory innervation and a large number of mechanoreceptors, which are important cells in the pain mechanism. An acupuncture needle inserted into one of these points stimulates the mechanoreceptors and sends signals to the nervous system. Neurological and chemical reactions are activated, and “acupuncture analgesia”, or pain reduction, is the result.
Research indicates that the endogenous opioid system is also stimulated by acupuncture. It has been reported that some patients with chronic pain have a reduced need for opioid based and other pain medication after acupuncture treatment.
Experiments have also shown that acupuncture may reduce inflammation by moderating the release of pro-inflammatory chemicals.
I have used acupuncture for years, often with great results. Some patients are treated with acupuncture alone, and some are treated with a combination of acupuncture and chiropractic.
If you have any questions about acupuncture, chiropractic or health in general, feel free to call any time.