How exactly does acupuncture work?

This question typically comes with answers that include words like natural, self-healing, acupoints, and of course, needles. The use of strategically placed needles in acupuncture encourages blood flow to an area, thereby, stimulating function and triggering self-healing. Modern medicine has acknowledged the effectiveness of acupuncture.

Once a qualified acupuncturist determines where the precise acupoints on the body are, they can stimulate them. Muscles will tighten and then relax creating a relaxing experience for the client.

Benefits of Acupuncture

The benefits of acupuncture are numerous and undeniable. The procedure has become so mainstream that even insurance policies cover it now for pain relief. Let's take a deeper look at just how beneficial acupuncture is to the body –Treatment of chronic pain from certain diseases Acupuncture for pain relief – This is easily the most popular use for acupuncture. The mechanism here is rather straight-forward. The insertion of these fine needles into the acupoints relieves pain by releasing endorphins – hormones that trigger a positive feeling in the body. They also stimulate the brain to release serotonin for happiness. 

Dramatic results are mostly seen in patients with diseases that result in chronic pain, especially those related to the nerves. While acupuncture might not exactly cure diseases, it has been known to alleviate the symptoms (especially pain) of several conditions including –

  • Hayfever Menstrual cramps 
  • Pain for peptic ulcers 
  • Headaches 
  • Knee pain 
  • Back pain 
  • Nausea sprains 
  • Tennis elbow 
  • Dental pain 
  • Postoperative pain 

This shows that it will be well worth it to have an acupuncturist as part of a patient's medical team. That way, they can rest assured of a holistic approach to their healing process. This is especially excellent for athletes with sports-related injuries to reduce the need for painkillers. 

Acupuncture as an alternative to opioids

Opioid addiction is a huge concern among health care providers for patients with chronic pain. As part of a safe and effective option for pain control in such conditions or after surgery, acupuncture can offer an alternative to conventional pain reducers. 

Acupuncture provides a non-addictive, much cheaper alternative to opioids, thereby, reducing the chances of abuse. One survey showed that family physicians who were trained in acupuncture prescribed fewer opioids than their counterparts and with good results. This is especially suited for people who cannot take another form of medication. Plus, it can be successfully combined with other treatments.

Additionally, it can be used to wean patients off opioids. And with acupuncture taking some of the pain away, they may be able to control their urges and have less of the terrible symptoms of withdrawal. It doesn't end there.  Researchers revealed that acupuncture before surgery could potentially reduce the need for opioids after surgery.

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