Pain can strike in many ways, and can have a huge impact on our lives. Acupuncture can help you manage pain, as Acupuncturist Kristy Perry explains
Pain management has been a large part of my practice over the years. Clients have come to me with a variety of complaints ranging from back and neck pain, headaches, migraines, sciatica and period pains to name a few.
The idea of using long-term painkillers can be a frightening and uncertain prospect, which is one reason why many people decide to explore acupuncture.
Around one-third of the population are affected by chronic pain; two-thirds are unable to go to work because of it (British Acupuncture Council, 2021; 2015). Pain can be overwhelming and can have a massive impact on our lives affecting our mood, sleep and appetite.
Over the past year in clinic I have noticed an increase in headaches, migraines and back pain, very likely due to the changes in our working environments and increased stress as we live through the pandemic.
In April 2021, NICE (The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence) published guidelines for chronic, long-term pain stating painkillers should no longer be prescribed. Acupuncture was one of the recommended treatment alternatives.
How can acupuncture help?
Acupuncture is a great way to address these problems and alleviate pain.
Every body is different and the treatments are tailored and designed around you to restore your health.
From a Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) perspective, we work on the Ben (root of the disease) and Biao (branch or surface symptoms). This means the treatment will provide relief from the symptoms as well as treat the underlying cause.
The basis of this unique medicine is the idea that if the Qi is flowing well you will be in good health and if there are any blockages or deficiencies this will lead to illness and pain.
Fine acupuncture needles are inserted to invigorate certain points on the body. This stimulates the nervous system and the body’s natural healing process, as well as promotes circulation to the area.
The British Acupuncture Council (2018) has collated research on how acupuncture provides pain relief by:
- stimulating nerves located in muscles and other tissues, which releases endorphins and helps reduce sensitivity to pain and stress
- reducing inflammation
- improving muscle stiffness and joint mobility – by increasing local microcirculation.
Our treatments are more than just needles; we can include moxibustion, cupping and ear seeds as well as give realistic diet and lifestyle advise to suit modern day living. All of these can have an impact on reducing pain.
Moxibustion warms and stimulates blood circulation helping to reduce pain.
Stagnation is a lack of flow and movement which can cause pain in the body. Cupping helps with stagnation by stimulating the flow of Qi and blood. The ear serves as a microsystem of the body and ear seeds are placed on certain points to help clear stagnation and calm the nervous system.