Can Acupuncture offer Pain Relief?
Can Acupuncture offer Pain Relief? The National Institutes of Health in the United States officially recognised acupuncture as an effective treatment for osteoarthritis, headaches, low back pain, fibromyalgia, menstrual cramps, tennis elbow, myofascial pain, neck pain, and carpal tunnel syndrome. Modern medical research has discovered that pain signals are transmitted by specialised nervous system cells called nerve receptors. These cells respond to injury, inflammation or tissue damage. The signals travel by electrical and chemical means, from receptors through sensory neurons to the spinal cord and then through interneurons in the spinal cord to the brain, where they are finally interpreted as pain. In terms of pain control, the effects of Acupuncture treatment include:
To relieve pain completely, or give as much relief as possible
To reduce pain levels
To improve the ability to deal with pain
To regulate the emotions
To increase the energy
To increase the ability to perform everyday functions
To enhance the quality of life
To reduce reliance on inappropriate medications
Is it Safe?
If performed by a qualified, conscientious practitioner, yes.
Does it Hurt?
Acupuncture needles are solid and hair-thin, and they are not designed to cut the skin. They are also inserted to much more shallow levels than hypodermic needles, generally no more than a half-inch to an inch depending on the type of treatment being delivered.
While each person experiences acupuncture differently, most people feel only a minimal amount of sensation as the needles are inserted. Some people reportedly feel a sensation of excitement, while others feel relaxed as well as a decrease in their pain.
Acupuncturists know the human anatomy well, and insert needles in a safe fashion. The instruments used to penetrate the skin are pre-sterilized and disposed after a single use. The practitioner is well aware of the concern over infectious diseases, and takes every measure to insure cleanliness as all health care professional do. Bleeding rarely occurs, unless done so on purpose in specific situations. Even then the amount is minimal and in no way dangerous.
What Should I Expect From My First Session?
For a first session, I typically set aside 30 minutes for asking questions and consultation, and 30 minutes for the actual acupuncture treatment. I take a full history. Many of the questions are similar to those a medical doctor would ask, but some of them will seem strange. Examples of strange questions include: What kind of food cravings do you have? Do you generally feel warmer or cooler than other people?
Unlike a conventional doctor, I am looking for patterns of disharmony. No symptom in Chinese medicine makes sense except in relation to other signs and symptoms. I look at a person’s tongue and check their pulse. After taking the history, next comes the acupuncture treatment itself. For the treatment, you lie down on a special table while the tiny, hair-thin acupuncture needles are placed in different spots on the body. Most people barely feel them, and most of my patients report feeling relaxed and calm during the treatment. Needles are not necessarily placed in sore spots. Infrared heat lamps are also used for pain conditions.
Depending on the seriousness and the length of your condition, your first visit may take between 60-90 minutes. It may take as little as one visit to see significant improvement, however, the average number of visits is three to six. As with any treatment plan I make sure that your questions are answered completely, and that the treatment plan seems viable and reasonable.
At Acupuncture Cork, I offer a holistic approach to pain. Based upon each patient’s specific condition, an individualized treatment plan will be selected from a vast array of modalities for the control of pain. For example, acupuncture in different needling techniques can effectively block pain signals, reduce tissue inflammation, increase blood flow and normalize nerve sensation. Electrotherapy/electro-acupuncture balances the body by enhancing the neurochemicals of the central nervous system. Precision Neuromuscular massage/Shiatsu and Tuina concentrates the relief of muscular discomfort and limited range of motion (flexibility). These natural solutions demonstrate extreme effectiveness in pain management. In addition, exercise and lifestyle changes will also be emphasized. The following conditions are commonly treated in the clinic:
• Arthritic Pain
• Back/Neck Pain
• Cancer Pain
• Carpel Tunnel Syndrome
• Elbow Tendonitis (Epicondyliits)
• Fibromyalgia and Myofacial Pain Syndrome
• Frozen Shoulder
• Headache /Migraine
• Hypochondriac Pain/Intercostal Pain
• Knee Pain
• Migraine headaches
• Orthopedic Injuries
If you are suffering with pain and it has been affecting the quality of your life, the treatment you have received offered you inconsistent or no result, please let us find a natural solution to help you return to a healthier and happier lifestyle.
David Hankey Acupuncture Cork