Acupuncture for Pain Relief

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Acupuncture for Pain Relief

acupuncture for pain relief

Acupuncture is a treatment modality based on Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) theory, tracing back 3000 years ago. As early as 1880s, acupuncture has been considered as a complementary and alternative medicine in Australia and is now integrated into the modern health-care system. 

How does acupuncture works? 

Acupuncture takes a holistic approach to health and regards illness as a sign that the body is out of balance. The exact pattern and degree of imbalance is unique to each individual. The acupuncturist’s skill lies in identifying the precise nature of the underlying disharmony and selecting the most effective treatment. The choice of acupuncture points will be specific to each patient’s needs. 

Is Acupuncture evident based? 

Modern research shows that acupuncture can help relieve pain by:

  • stimulating nerves located in muscles and other tissues, which leads to release of endorphins and other neurohumoral factors and changes the processing of pain in the brain and spinal cord. 
  • reducing inflammation, by promoting release of vascular and immunomodulatory factors. 
  • reducing muscle tightness and improving joint mobility by increasing local microcirculation, which aids dispersal of swelling.
  • influencing the neurotrophic factor signalling system, which is important in neuropathic pain.
  • increasing levels of serotonin and noradrenaline, which can help reduce pain 

A randomized trial run in the emergency department in three local Australian hospitals implicated that acupuncture is safe, acceptable and has an analgesic effect comparable with that of pharmacotherapy. The report of this trial, published in The Medical Journal of Australia on June 2017, concluded that the effectiveness of acupuncture in providing acute analgesia for patients with back pain and ankle sprain was comparable with that of pharmacotherapy. 

How acupuncture is performed? 

Pre-sterilised disposable needles are used. Depending on the location of the treatment, patient will either sit or lie down. Properly done, acupuncture is painless because the needles are very fine (between 0.16 to 0.3 mm wide). When the needles are inserted, patient may feel mild tingling around the site, warmth or heaviness, or even nothing at all. 

How many sections are needed? 

Number of acupuncture treatment sessions needed depends on the condition. In most cases, people experience a reduction in symptoms within a few sessions. The idea of acupuncture is to restore the natural balance of energy inside your body. Once the balance is restored, the body can take care of itself and no further treatments are necessary. 


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