Acupuncture, a traditional Chinese medicine, continues to grow in popularity as more and more people experience relief using this alternative therapy to treat their chronic pain and health conditions. The decision to try acupuncture often comes after conventional medicine hasn’t helped relieve chronic pain or decrease the intensity of the symptoms they are suffering from.
USES FOR ACUPUNCTURE
Besides chronic pain, acupuncture has been tried and, in some cases is helps treat a variety of conditions, including headache pain, chronic tennis elbow, fibromyalgia, menstrual cramps, chronic low back pain, osteoarthritis, neck pain, carpal tunnel syndrome, and facial pain.
The uses of acupuncture seem to be endless. People are using it for acute sports injuries, chronic pain, emotional difficulties, and other health problems.
SCIENCE AND ACUPUNCTURE
There have been many technological advances that have helped scientists understand the mystery behind this centuries-old practice. Scientists are coming closer to finding out how a simple acupuncture needle can adjust the body's tissues, including the nervous system and the hormonal system.
Certain uses of acupuncture, such as for chronic pain, have given a thumbs up to acupuncture by the World Health Organization and the National Institutes of Health.
WHAT ACUPUNCTURE CAN DO FOR FIBROMYALGIA SYMPTOMS
Modern pain-relieving medications are not without side effects, especially when used for fibromyalgia pain. More and more are being pulled from the market so that sufferers of fibromyalgia pain have fewer alternatives in dealing with their pain. This is a good reason to try acupuncture for the management of fibromyalgia pain and other fibromyalgia symptoms. The side effect rate is much lower than most of the medications you would use for fibromyalgia.
Acupuncture works by the insertion of many very thin needles in specific areas of the body. The areas you have pain aren’t necessarily the places where the needles are inserted. According to Traditional Chinese Medicine, the action of acupuncture is to free up areas of life energy or “chi” that has become blocked somewhere along energy highways called “meridians.” The use of acupuncture unblocks chi energy, resulting in biochemical and other body changes that affect diseases.
In one study on patients with osteoarthritis of the knee, acupuncture was used and found to be as helpful as pain medication in controlling pain. Acupuncture can safely be used along with other chronic pain modalities, such as ice, heat, or pain medications.
This study paves the way for other research studies that can be done on other types of chronic pain being treated using acupuncture. There is no reason to think that acupuncture won’t work on other types of chronic pain besides knee arthritis.
Acupuncture also works for chronic nausea and vomiting. The acupuncturist knows exactly where to place the needles for the various symptoms. The National Institutes of Health has approved acupuncture to be used along with anti-nausea medications, which seems to work better than just taking the medication alone.
Acupuncture also seems to work on the pain due to spasticity. Spasticity leads to pain because it causes chronic muscle spasms that lead to pain.
FINDING THE RIGHT ACUPUNCTURIST
Look for a certified acupuncturist who is experienced in treating people with fibromyalgia. If you can't, consider an acupuncturist with experience with chronic pain, any symptom you are hoping to treat with acupuncture, such as fatigue or insomnia. Talk to your regular doctor to see if they have a referral for you. A certified acupuncturist goes through many thousands of hours of training to do what they do. A good acupuncturist will be state-licensed as a sign they have the training and expertise to help you.
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