How Acupuncture Reduces Pain

by Jamie Holland, LAc, ABT, ACN

Acupuncture promotes blood flow

Acupuncture promotes the flow of blood throughout the body, including the microvascular system. Everything you need to heal is contained within your blood. Your organs, muscles, tendons, bones, your entire body, needs high quality access to oxygen, nutrients, hormones and a plethora of other vital substances to heal. Decrease in blood flow can cause serious damage, and increase in blood flow, especially microcirculation, can bring all the right substances to an area to allow it to heal.

Acupuncture releases the body's own natural painkillers

Acupuncture release our body's natural opioids, endorphins, and enkephalins.

Acupuncture reduces stress

Acupuncture modulates our autonomic nervous system. You've likely heard of the phrase 'fight or flight' and 'rest and digest'. This is your autonomic nervous system broken up into your sympathetic (fight or flight) and parasympathetic (rest, digest and heal). An easy way to understand this is, if you were being chased by a tiger, it's not important to sleep, heal, digest, or reproduce at that time. Instead you need to stay away and run, go, go, go, resting will come later, healing will come later. Fortunately, most of us don't come into contact with tigers very often, however, our stressful lives, work, relationships, politics, financial situations and so forth, simulate this reaction and we can often be caught up in a fight or flight mode, and so our body is not in rest and digest and heal mode very often. Acupuncture appears to be able to modulate the autonomic nervous system and bring it back into a rest, digest and heal mode.

Acupuncture stimulates the body's own healing systems though local micro trauma

When the local pain areas are needled, a micro trauma occurs. This sends signals for the body to 'pay attention' to this area. As the body addresses the micro trauma, it addresses the tissue around it as well, thus healing past damaged tissue that has been causing a person pain.

Acupuncture resets the nervous system

Emerging studies are showing how acupuncture can help reset the nervous systems ability to address pain. There are two main types of nerves involved in a pain reaction, one that involves experiencing pain (nocioceptive) and the other that tells the body where the pain is (proprioceptive) and thus where to address healing. If these two nerves are firing correctly, the body should be able to know that it is injured and know where to address that injury and thus release pain killers and start the natural process of healing. Your body should be able to heal itself, however, this doesn't always go according to plan. In chronic pain conditions your body is sending pain signals (nociocpetive) but not communicating correctly where the problem is (proprioceptive). Thus, you are in pain and your body isn't able to react appropriately.

Sources:

  1. http://www.who.int/en/news-room/fact-sheets/detail/headache-disorders
  2. https://www.healthcmi.com/Acupuncture-Continuing-Education-News/1459-migraine-headache-acupuncture-relief
  3. https://www.health.harvard.edu/blog/acupuncture-for-headache-2018012513146
  4. https://www.cochrane.org/CD007587/SYMPT_acupuncture-tension-type-headache
  5. https://chriskresser.com/chinese-medicine-demystified-part-iv-how-acupuncture-works/
  6. https://academic.oup.com/bjaed/article/7/4/135/466586
  7. https://chriskresser.com/chinese-medicine-demystified-part-v-a-closer-look-at-how-acupuncture-relieves-pain/
  8. http://www.iosrjournals.org/iosr-jdms/papers/Vol13-issue11/Version-6/M0131166369.pdf
  9. Acupuncture in patients with osteoarthritis of the knee: a randomised trial. Lancet, July 2005.
  10. Acupuncture in Patients With Chronic Low Back Pain: A Randomized Controlled Trial. JAMA Internal Medicine, February 2006.
  11. Acupuncture in patients with tension-type headache: randomised controlled trial. BMJ, August 2005.
  12. Acupuncture for Patients With Migraine: A Randomized Controlled Trial. JAMA, May 2005.
  13. Acupuncture for Chronic Pain: Individual Patient Data Meta-analysis. JAMA Internal Medicine, October 2012.
  14. Survey of Adverse Events Following Acupuncture (SAFA): a prospective study of 32,000 consultations. Acupuncture in Medicine, December 2001.
  15. Safety of Acupuncture: Results of a Prospective Observational Study with 229,230 Patients and Introduction of a Medical Information and Consent Form. Complementary Medicine Research, April 2009.
  16. The safety of acupuncture during pregnancy: a systematic review. Acupuncture in Medicine, June 2014.
  17. Cost-effectiveness of adjunct non-pharmacological interventions for osteoarthritis of the knee. PLOS One, March 2017.
  18. Paradoxes in Acupuncture Research: Strategies for Moving Forward. Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medcine, 2011.
  19. The Long-term Effect of Acupuncture for Migraine Prophylaxis: A Randomized Clinical Trial.JAMA Internal Medicine, April 2017.

Michelle Astringer
Michelle Astringer
2024-03-26
I have been working with Jamie 2x per week for the past couple of weeks. He is extremely attentive, understanding and thorough. I was nervous to start with acupuncture because of my herniated disc and fear of needles but he has made the experience feel very safe and comfortable. I’ve noticed a decrease in pain after suffering for over a year. Highly recommend!
Dani Zocante
Dani Zocante
2024-03-23
We learned about this facility years ago, and try to do a session every week, both practitioners are fantastic!
ashley snider
ashley snider
2024-03-05
My first visit to this clinic was incredible. I found it to be educational, supportive and a step in the right direction for my health. Jamie was attentive and provided helpful information and recommendations. Already have a treatment plan underway and my next appointment booked! Highly recommend for anyone interested in acupuncture and what it has to offer.
Carrie Butler
Carrie Butler
2024-01-24
Jamie was amazing! He was so nice and very knowledgeable. It was my first time getting acupuncture and he explained each step and what to expect. I would definitely recommend him.
Ginny
Ginny
2023-12-30
Crystal was able to get me in quickly. Highly recommend.
Sarah Llerena
Sarah Llerena
2023-12-14
I recently had an incredible experience at this place, and I don't even know where to begin. I found myself in unbearable back pain, unable to stand up straight, and unsure of what caused it. Fortunately, I was able to schedule a prompt appointment, and Jamie's expertise was truly amazing! After receiving both cupping and acupuncture treatments, I noticed a remarkable improvement right away and within just two days, i was 95% back to my normal self. Don't hesitate to book an appointment here—it made a significant difference for me.
Thomas Najar
Thomas Najar
2023-11-20
Great service at a good price. Convenient location, knowledgable staff, clean and inviting clinic.
Tracy Carr
Tracy Carr
2023-11-10
This is the best place ever! I get cupping and acupuncture when my back starts acting up and leave feeling like 50 pounds was lifted off my back. Crystal and Jamie are very thorough in their questions to understand what’s going on and the treatment they provide. And the prices can’t be beat. 10/10
Liz Spanos
Liz Spanos
2023-11-10
I have been going to Lakewood Community Acupuncture for over a year and can’t imagine my life without it now!! It can truly help with so much - from physical pain (I have issues with my pelvic floor and multiple herniated discs) to emotional blocks, energy deficiencies and more! I ALWAYS feel better after acupuncture. I’ve seen all the practitioners and they are all extremely skilled, but Crystal is my go-to. She is not only very gentle and effective but always a delight to connect with. For the quality of service, atmosphere and price, you cannot do better. It’s been a game changer for me. Wholeheartedly recommend!!

Contact

7114 W Jefferson Ave, suite 112
Lakewood, CO 80235
(720) 242-9756
info@lakewoodacupuncture.org

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