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Acupuncture for
Chronic Pain

Pinning the Pain: Acupuncture for Pain Relief

Elias Lu, DTCM,

Acupuncture Physician

Point of Cure Acupuncture and Electromedicine in Tampa Bay, Florida

Pervasive Problem

Impacting over 20% of population, chronic pain is a debilitating condition stemming from a combination of physical or psychological factors. Living with daily pain is, unfortunately, a reality for many of us, including the author of this article. Is there a solution?

person in severe pain as seen by AI

Targeting Pain

Medications may help some but are often associated with unwanted side effects. Physical therapy and cognitive restructuring, while immensely important in a comprehensive treatment plan, go only so far. As a result, more and more patients seeking pain relief turn to acupuncture.

 

Acupuncture for Pain

Today, acupuncture (especially, electroacupuncture) has emerged as a promising complementary modality for managing chronic pain – including musculoskeletal, inflammatory, neuropathic, and cancer. Acupuncture brings relief with the added benefit of fewer side effects and a lower risk of dependency. Moreover, it can complement other pain management strategies, enhancing their efficacy and promoting overall health.

 

Acupuncture Works

Acupuncture is a key component of traditional Chinese medicine (TCM). It has been practiced in many Asian countries for thousands of years. Acupuncture involves the insertion of thin needles into specific points on the body, known as acupoints, to stimulate nerves, muscles, and connective tissue throughout the body.

 

According to the traditional Chinese theory, acupuncture works by balancing the flow of vital Energy Qi along Meridians or energy pathways in the body.

 

How Does It Really Work?

In Western terms, acupuncture is believed to modulate the nervous system by way of peripheral, spinal, and supraspinal mechanisms with the involvement of a variety of bioactive chemicals including endogenous opiates, N/OFQ, serotonin, VIP, norepinephrine, glutamate, cytokines, CRF, and neuropeptide Y.

 

Unlike painkillers, acupuncture does not mask the pain. Instead, it modulates pain signals to the brain – making acupuncture very useful for treating all types of pain, including neuropathic pain, such as post-herpetic neuralgia and trigeminal neuralgia.

Experience Acupuncture

During an acupuncture session, we will select acupoints based on the type, location, and severity of your pain. The needle insertion itself is not painful! Instead, you will experience a sensation of warmth, tingling, or pressure in the area treated. Many patients report acupuncture sessions to be deeply calming and rejuvenating, providing not only relief from pain but also a sense of balance and well-being.

 

Point of Cure Acupuncture and Electromedicine

Modern acupuncture represents a rational, personalized, evidence-based system of healing. In our clinic, we have successfully helped patients with the following conditions:

 

  • Abdominal functional pain

  • Cancer-related pain

  • Causalgia (Complex regional pain syndrome)

  • Fibromyalgia

  • Intercostal neuralgia

  • Menstrual cramps

  • Migraine

  • Myofascial pain

  • Neuropathic pain

  • Occipital neuralgia

  • Postoperative pain

  • Sciatica

  • Shingles (Post-herpetic neuralgia)

  • Temporomandibular joint (TMJ) disorder

  • Tension headache

  • Trigeminal neuralgia

 

Visit our downtown St. Pete studio to experience acupuncture for yourself. While there are no guarantees in medicine (and life in general), one thing we can promise: we’ll remain true to our pledge to:

 

  • Listen to your body-mind

  • Search for the effective and gentle therapeutic regimen

  • Be patient and optimistic

  • Remain available as your health needs change

References

Nahin, R. L., Boineau, R., Khalsa, P. S., Stussman, B. J., & Weber, W. J. (2016). Evidence-Based Evaluation of Complementary Health Approaches for Pain Management in the United States. Mayo Clinic proceedings, 91(9), 1292–1306. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.mayocp.2016.06.007

 

Patil, S., Sen, S., Bral, M., Reddy, S., Bradley, K. K., Cornett, E. M., Fox, C. J., & Kaye, A. D. (2016). The Role of Acupuncture in Pain Management. Current pain and headache reports, 20(4), 22. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11916-016-0552-1

 

Vickers, A. J., Vertosick, E. A., Lewith, G., MacPherson, H., Foster, N. E., Sherman, K. J., Irnich, D., Witt, C. M., Linde, K., & Acupuncture Trialists' Collaboration (2018). Acupuncture for Chronic Pain: Update of an Individual Patient Data Meta-Analysis. The journal of pain, 19(5), 455–474. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jpain.2017.11.005

doctor's picture

Dr. Elias Lu, DTCM is an acupuncture physician with Point of Cure Acupuncture and Electromedicine. In practice for over 25 years, he integrates traditional Chinese medicine with modern functional therapies to help people with chronic pain, trauma, neurodegenerative disorders, anxiety, depression, and many other life's challenges.

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