Using Acupuncture For Back Pain Relief - Your Back Pain Relief

Using Acupuncture For Back Pain Relief

How effective is acupuncture for back pain?

Recent studies indicate acupuncture may reduce back pain in the upper and lower back. Early clinical results need further valuation. But as an alternative therapy to conventional treatments, acupuncture shows promise. 

Acupuncture for Back Pain

Acupuncture is based on what is known as the Theory of Meridians. According to Eastern folk medicine, our body has a series of meridians (channels) through what is known as Qi runs.

What is Qi? Traditional Chinese Medicine is based on Qi which is best described as an invisible energy flowing through the body.

Disruption of this energy flow is thought to result in inflammation, pain and illness.

Professional acupuncturists insert small needles into certain points along the meridians, restoring Qi's healthy flow.

A Brief History of Acupuncture

As mentioned, acupuncture is part of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM). This alternative healing method has been practised in China for thousands of years.

It is believed the foundations for modern-day acupuncture were laid down in principle over 3,500 years ago.

Acupuncture was first introduced in the West in the 17th century when early missionaries brought the practice back from China. However, it wasn’t until the 1970’s this Chinese healing method became more popular in the West.

Gradually, it spread from the United States to other parts of the world including Europe and Australia.

Does Acupuncture Work?

The World Health Organization recognises acupuncture can “possibly” treat over 30 health conditions.

As acupuncture is now considered more mainstream, the WHO has set benchmarks and standards for this traditional healing system.

As always, the success of any treatment depends on the severity of the condition. 

Is Acupuncture Safe?

In general, acupuncture is considered safe. However, it is important you consult a qualified practitioner. Ensure the person you consult is registered and fully insured.

What Conditions Can Acupuncture Treat?

Acupuncture's main uses are back pain relief and musculo-skeletal health conditions.

Other conditions which may benefit from acupuncture include back pain arthritis, asthma and migraines.

You can also add digestive disorders and high blood pressure to the list.

How Many Sessions Do I Need?

Before treatment begins, the patient is assessed.

The assessment differs a great deal from a clinical examination made by a practitioner of conventional medicine.

Several QI pulse points are examined. The practitioner examines the tongue and asks many questions which may seem irrelevant.

To a practitioner of acupuncture, the answers to any questions asked are hugely relevant. So is the condition of the tongue and the Qi pulse points.

Often the assessment is lengthy. It can last from 30 minutes to 90 minutes depending on the severity of the patient’s condition.

At the end of the assessment, the practitioner makes a recommendation on how many sessions are needed to remedy the ailment.

Does Acupuncture Hurt?

Acupuncture is seldom painful. But, this does depend on your response to pain.

The needles used are very fine and delicate - not like sewing needles. Often only a small part of the needles is inserted in the skin.

Is acupuncture used as a stand-alone treatment?

On many occasions, a combination of traditional remedies is used. If you are undergoing treatment with acupuncture, your practitioner may also use cupping therapy. 

This is perfectly safe and thought to reduce inflammation promoting healing and reducing pain. There is an increasing body of evidence Traditional Chinese Cupping is a useful tool.

Your acupuncturist may also recommend you use certain Chinese herbs or drink teas. As long as you are comfortable with this, it is thought these additional remedies carry a low risk.

Acupuncturists often ask their patients to follow a certain diet. Avoiding foods which cause inflammation is recommended.

How Long Before I Notice Results?

It depends on the severity of your conditions.

Sometimes it takes longer to notice results from complementary therapies. If you have been relying on conventional medications such as painkillers or anti-inflammatory drugs, it can take longer to notice results.

As a matter of fact, you may find your acupuncturist asks you to stop any other treatment apart from natural ones.

Always be honest with your practitioner. Tell them what treatments you are currently receiving or if you are self-medicating.

Can I Continue Physiotherapy?

If you are seeing a physiotherapist, there is no reason why you should not continue.

As mentioned, it is important you mention any other regimes or treatments.

Can I Wear A Back Support?

It is unlikely you can wear a back support when receiving the treatment session. Your acupuncturist may want to insert needles in the area.

Once your session is over you can probably wear your back support again.

How Long Do Any Improvements Stay In Place?

If your condition is chronic, you may have to make return visits from time to time.

Remember the same principle applies to other therapies including physiotherapy and chiropractic treatments.

Can I Exercise?

Surprisingly, many acupuncturists don’t recommend conventional exercise.

What they may recommend instead is Tai Chi. This system of exercises is also based on improving the flow of Qi in the body.

Why Should I Choose Acupuncture?

There are many reasons why you should choose or try acupuncture.

It does not involve any use of conventional drugs which can cause side effects.

Although side effects are associated with acupuncture, most are not severe or long-term. The most common side effect is tiredness. This is thought to be a sign the body is re-balancing Qi.

Many who have tried acupuncture say that their health has improved in other ways.

Acupuncturists take a holistic approach to treating the mind and the body. If they notice other health conditions which cause slow-flowing Qi, they will treat those at the same time.

This is why holistic practices such as acupuncture are different from Western medicine.

Final Thoughts

Acupuncture is becoming increasingly popular. Many are discovering it can treat chronic health conditions and wellness problems caused by lifestyle.

Be honest with your practitioner. Take the opportunity to address all of the health issues that concern you. In TCM, almost all of them are linked and caused by disruptions in Qi.

 Brought to you by Your Back Pain Relief

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