Pain: Relief with Acupuncture and Massage

Acupuncture and massage can help you with your pain, as they have helped many others. Both treatments reduce levels of stress hormones and leave people feeling relaxed. These modalities can reduce painful muscle tension and spasm. Acupuncture causes the release of chemicals that block pain, reduce inflammation, and promote healing.

If you are suffering from chronic pain, you are not alone. Research has shown that approximately 1 in 4 Americans suffers from pain on a daily basis. Those of us that do not experience chronic pain often know someone who does.

The prevalence of pain today
arthritis 48 million
migraines 25 million
jaw and lower-facial pain 20 million
low-back pain 16 million
fibromyalgia 10 million
neuropathic pain 4 million
These statistics were taken from here and here.

Conventional pain treatment

If you have chronic pain, you should see a doctor. It can be helpful to know the source of your pain, and you certainly want to determine if your pain indicates a serious condition like cancer or a degenerative disease. Conventional treatment can vary with the cause of the pain, assuming a cause can be found. Treatment will often involve medications, which mask the symptoms but which do not address the source of the pain. While such drugs have their place, these medications often come with unpleasant side effects and other health risks. For these reasons, a growing number of pain sufferers are seeking therapies that can reduce their dependency on medications and perhaps resolve the cause of the pain. Many types of pain benefit from alternative therapies like acupuncture and massage, as well as from exercise, proper diet, focused movement like yoga or taijichuan, and meditation/prayer.

Acupuncture and massage can help

While the nature of acupuncture and massage make them difficult to study, there is evidence that suggests they help with many types of pain from acute injuries to various kinds of chronic pain. For example, a review of the literature on massage suggests that while it might not cure chronic low back pain it does reduce the pain, relax the muscles, and improve sleep. And, as a result, it lowers dependence on medication and other medical interventions. As another example, a 2004 study on acupuncture and headaches found that acupuncture could "provide lasting relief from the pain of chronic headaches, such as migraines."

Make an appointment

If you’re in pain, and especially if conventional treatment is not taking care of your problem, give acupuncture and/or massage a try. You might be pleasantly surprised. Email or call me for an appointment.

For more information about pain, continue to part 2 of this article.