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How Can Acupuncture Help with General Pain?

Pain is one of the most common reasons people see their doctors. From injuries to health conditions, there are many causes of pain. Depending on the nature and seriousness of the problem, pain can be dull or debilitating. It can cause functional impairment, sleep deprivation and psychological stress, wreaking havoc on one’s mind and body.

Over-the-counter and prescription pain medications promise instant pain relief. Unfortunately, many of them have side effects such as mood swings, nausea, constipation, and insomnia. And even worse, some common regularly prescribed pain medications can be highly addictive.

Acupuncture—An Ideal Alternative to Pain Medication

Many people with pain turn to acupuncture to manage their condition. Acupuncture is an ancient Chinese medical technique and the Chinese have been using it to treat neck pain, back pain, knee pain, and headache for more than 3,000 years.

Acupuncture for pain relief is steadily gaining popularity in the west. It is estimated that around 10 million acupuncture treatments are administered annually in the U.S. alone.

Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) practitioners believe that an illness is caused by an energy block. Acupuncture involves inserting paper-thin needles through the skin at strategic points, known as acupoints on the body to heal energy blocks.

Acupuncture is drug-free and, hence, can reduce dependence on pain medications. When performed by a trained expert, acupuncture does not have any serious side-effects. Any discomfort from the treatment itself is usually negligible and subsides within 24-48 hours. Unlike pain medications that mask the symptoms of pain, acupuncture treats the root cause.

How Does Acupuncture for Pain Work?

Studies have shown that acupuncture stimulates the brain to produce feel-good hormones such as serotonin, endorphins, oxytocin, and dopamine. Endorphins act at the body’s natural painkillers. They, along with other feel-good hormones, improve mood and promote happiness and pleasure.

A meta-analysis of 39 trials concluded that acupuncture is effective for a number of chronic pain conditions. Researchers found that the effects of acupuncture persist for an extended time—weeks or even months.

Acupuncture also helps the body flush out toxins. Stress can make pain worse and cause inflammation. But acupuncture reduces the levels of stress hormones in the body, promoting relaxation.

How Long Does Acupuncture Take to Work?

It really depends. Some people report pain relief right away after the first session. In many other cases, people begin seeing results in two or three weeks. How long acupuncture will take to work for you depends on a number of factors such as your age, the nature and seriousness of your pain, your lifestyle, and your willingness to follow through with the personal recommendations your acupuncturist makes during your visit.

Most people are recommended to schedule 1 – 2 sessions per week over the first four weeks. After this, acupuncturists evaluate results to determine the frequency of treatments.

Monarch Acupuncture & Wellness offers acupuncture therapy near you in SacramentoWe use acupuncture to treat everything from chronic pain to infertility. Our acupuncturists have deep knowledge of acupuncture techniques. To learn more, call (925)268-8830.