Pain Relief Beyond Medication: How Acupuncture Can Help You Manage Pain

One of the key suppositions of Buddhism states that life is suffering. While this may come off a bit pessimistic, it is undoubtedly true to a certain extent but incomplete. While life is inherently challenging—and humans are prone to disease and pain—healers have sought ways to make it easier. Some are millennia old and have only grown and evolved over that time. One of these ways is acupuncture. 


What Is Acupuncture?


It is an effective alternative medicine from ancient China that reduces pain. It helps treat pain and other conditions by inserting long thin needles at specific points on the body. The needles are extremely thin, much thinner than injection needles that do not cause pain. 

  • The History of Acupuncture

It began as a medicinal practice about 3,000 years ago and became famous in mainland China. However, it was only until 100 BCE, in the Yellow Emperors' Classic of Internal Medicine, that it was described as an organized diagnosis and treatment system. 

The initial idea of acupuncture was a compilation of beliefs and ideas that revolved around the qi (chi) concept. Qi is an old concept still firmly held today about the body's natural energy that helps animate an individual. The beliefs hold that when your qi is blocked, you develop different illnesses. These ideas remain part of the treatment today. 

Chinese scholars have taken to studying Western medicine and integrating it into acupuncture. The result is more comprehensive treatments, effective results, and treating a wider range of conditions. 

  • How Does It Work?

Acupuncture as a pain treatment option cannot work alone but works best in combination with other modalities. Many professional acupuncturists will combine physical therapy, massage, and other relaxation techniques to ensure the efficacy of acupuncture. To ensure that it works well, experts recommend the following:

It should come in early on when you start your pain relief journey to help manage your pain. Many go for the treatment as a last kick, often too late for intervention. It takes time for the results to manifest, so you must manage your expectations, especially at the start. You usually need at least eight sessions to notice a significant pain decrease. 

  • What Can It Treat?


Chronic Pain


In a controlled study that featured no acupuncture and simulated acupuncture, patients who received the treatment had better results. In the study, it was used for forms of these chronic pain conditions:

  • Chronic headaches

  • Neck and back pain

  • Shoulder pain

  • Osteoarthritis


Cancer Management


Cancer treatment can significantly impact your quality of life, inducing vomiting or extreme nausea. Acupuncture helps patients going through chemo to manage these side effects. The treatment work for new patients, those already dealing with the side effects, and those in later treatment stages. 


Other Painful Conditions


Other conditions that acupuncture is especially effective in treating include sciatica or lower back pain. It is also quite effective with neuropathy from diabetes, cancer, or other diseases.

For more on pain relief beyond medication, visit Whiplash Pain Center at our offices in Summerville, Charleston, North Charleston, or Holly Hill, South Carolina. You can call (843) 371-1371, (843) 350-5022​​​​​​​, (843) 821-7778, or (803) 496-3338 to book an appointment today.

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