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Acupuncture & Chronic Pain Treatment

The treatment of chronic pain, and to a lesser extent acute pain, is an excellent example of the usefulness of body/mind medicine. To paraphrase a classic text on acupuncture, “when the mind is serene, pain is negligible”. This illustrates the first of three distinct direct influences that acupuncture provides the patient. That is, upon insertion of the needle the patient will report an immediate sense of relaxation and well-being. Most biomedical theories on this action revolve around sympathetic/parasympathetic systems regulation, and/or endorphin release.

The second influence is on immediate reduction in inflammation. Even with fast firm palpation of acupuncture sites, the patient will immediately demonstrate increased range of motion and reports a decrease in pain level. Objectively a visible decrease in swelling and/or redness will be observed. This action has yet to be explained through biomedical science. Traditional acupuncture theory explains it as the conscious manipulation for the flow of blood and Qi(energy) through the body.

The third influence is the regulation of internal organ systems and function. This regulation is in respect to individual organ systems and in their relation to other organ systems within the whole. This is meant as an increase or decrease in specific biological function(s) that lead to chronic pain and or complicate a separate non-related chronic pain issue.

The advantage to this as a tool to treat chronic pain is all of these things, and can be achieved without the use of pharmaceutical intervention allowing for immediate reduction or elimination of “drugs” in the treatment of chronic pain.

For more information on Acupuncture: http://nccam.nih.gov/health/acupuncture/acupuncture-for-pain.htm

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