How acupuncture relieves pain is not entirely clear, but there are many theories based on scientific principles. The ancient form of Chinese medicine that has been known to man for over two thousand five hundred years is now a very popular means of treating pain, especially back pain. The basics of acupuncture teach us that there is an energy called chi or qi that flows within the body along the meridians that are pathways in the body. When the flow of this energy is interrupted, you will experience pain as well as illness. Using acupuncture for pain is a means to correct the flow of this energy and thus get much needed relief.
Acupuncture is an effective means of relieving pain for many people. This may be particularly true for back pain and headache pain. Other types of pain that may be helped by acupuncture include arthritis (both osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis), musculoskeletal injuries (for instance, to the neck, shoulder, knee, or elbow), fibromyalgia, carpal tunnel syndrome, labor pain, and cancer-related pain.
Use of acupuncture for pain requires undergoing a treatment session in which one to twenty needles are inserted into various parts of the human body, with the needles either simply penetrating just beneath the skin, or at other times they may even have to penetrate the fat as well as muscles. Once inserted, the needles may be left for anywhere from fifteen to thirty minutes and they may also be twisted and be removed and placed elsewhere in the body.
Acupuncture and pain will benefit the patient most when it is used in combination with other treatments, and being a safe method of treating pain, there is also no known risk attached to this form of treatment provided you get your acupuncture treatment from a reputable acupuncturist. Use is made of sterilized needles when dealing with acupuncture and pain, and these needles are usually disposable and must be FDA approved.
The beauty of acupuncture and pain is that the acupuncture treatment itself does not cause any pain; rather, it helps alleviate pain and is supposed to be very relaxing, and a patient may even drop off to sleep while the treatment is ongoing. It is also an enervating experience, which can be further enhanced by using acupuncture needles that are different from your normal hypodermic needles, being as fine as hair and solid as well.
Acupuncture and pain are well suited for one another as it enables the electromagnetic signals to be relayed much faster than is normal, which will increase the flow of pain relieving natural chemicals to areas that are injured, and where there is a lot of pain being felt. In fact, acupuncture for pain management has been successfully been used especially for fibromyalgia, chronic headaches, neck pain as a result of whiplash, knee as well as hip pain due to arthritis, as well as for chronic abdominal pain and asthma, as well as pain caused by shingles.
Hypnosis is a focused state of concentration. Self-hypnosis (in which you repeat a positive statement over and over) or guided imagery (a technique to create relaxing images in your mind) may be simple but effective ways to reduce pain for many people. Hypnosis is being studied for pain relief following surgery and during labor, as well as for pain from cancer (even in children), irritable bowel syndrome, fibromyalgia, headaches (both tension and migraine), arthritis, and other conditions.
Both acupuncture and hypnosis are often included in pain management centers in the United States. Other non-drug methods used at such centers include physical therapy, biofeedback, massage, and relaxation training.