Acupuncture for Pain Free Living
Acupuncture has become increasingly popular as an alternative to pharmacological intervention for pain. In fact, acupuncture is proving to be as effective as western medication for providing pain relief. Without any negative side effects (constipation, drowsiness, nausea or vomiting, addiction), acupuncture works with your own body’s internal resources to minimize and manage pain.
3 Ways Acupuncture Reduces Pain
First, let’s look at how a person feels pain. The body is covered in various types of nerve tissue. When we hurt our ankle, the sensory nerves will transmit a message of pain, serving as a warning to protect the body from further damage. In the Gate Control Theory of Pain, (devised by Melzack & Wall, 1965), pain can be minimized by applying a secondary sensation in the area of pain. Acupuncture can activate the inhibitory neurons in the spinal cord, which will close the pain message gate and reduce pain.
Second, acupuncture can initiate the brain's endogenous opiate system. In particular, endogenous opiates like enkephalins and endorphins (natural pain killers of the body) are released during acupuncture treatments to offer even longer pain relief than inhibitory neurons.
Finally, acupuncture promotes client well being through body awareness, meditation and visualization. The engagement of the parasympathetic nervous system (the body’s rest and recovery phase) by acupuncture promotes deeper abdominal breathing, slower breaths and a state of calmness. Clients can reduce their perception of pain more easily when in this relaxed state. Nutritionist and pilates instructor Cindy Willems talks about how breath work and help alleviate pain here
I’d be happy to discuss how acupuncture can help you live pain free.