How Acupuncture Can Relieve Chronic Pain

Acupuncture treatment with needles on back.
Chronic pain doesn’t have to wreak havoc on your life. If you’re looking for a natural treatment — or a therapy you can use alongside others — acupuncture has a lot to offer.

One in five Americans lives with chronic pain or pain that lasts for three months or longer, either constantly or sporadically. If you’re among them, and other treatments haven’t fully helped, or if you’re looking for a minimally invasive and medication-free treatment option, you may want to consider acupuncture.

Our team at Pearl River Acupuncture, located in Pearl River, New York, provides acupuncture for a range of painful conditions. In this blog, Dr. Yoonyoung Lee DACM, L.Ac., Dipl. OM., explains how acupuncture can treat chronic pain and discusses some of its many benefits.

The basics of acupuncture

As a form of traditional Chinese medicine, acupuncture has been used in Asia for centuries. It has also grown increasingly popular in the United States.

During treatment, your provider inserts very fine, sterile needles into areas known as pressure points — or acupoints — on your skin. The goal is to stimulate energy flow — called “qi”— and blood circulation throughout your body. 

During an acupuncture session, 4-10 needles are inserted in strategic places related to your chronic pain condition. Then, you rest while the needles stay in place for 10-30 minutes. From time to time, your provider might gently shift or twist the needles to stimulate the production of endorphins, which are natural chemicals that can help reduce pain.

While acupuncture results vary, numerous studies have found it to be a safe and often helpful treatment with lasting results. While most anyone can get acupuncture, you need to be cautious and consult with a licensed acupuncturist if you have a bleeding disorder, a pacemaker, or if you’re pregnant.  

Painful issues acupuncture can treat

Acupuncture can help relieve a variety of types of chronic pain, such as: 

  • Backaches 
  • Cancer-related pain 
  • Headaches 
  • Fibromyalgia pain 
  • Neck pain 
  • Neuropathy (nerve damage) pain 
  • Pain from an accident or sports injury 
  • Tendonitis pain

While acupuncture doesn’t instantly abolish pain in most cases, it often brings gradual relief over time. In general, relief is usually felt within three months after 6-12 sessions.

More acupuncture benefits

In addition to pain relief, acupuncture has been found to help relieve a number of other conditions. For example, many people have found that acupuncture has helped relieve certain mental health challenges, such as anxiety, depression, and fatigue, which can accompany issues like chronic pain.

Acupuncture may also be able to improve your overall energy levels and help you get more restful sleep. Acupuncture has also been shown to help reduce asthma symptoms, nausea, menstrual cramps, and pain related to dental treatments and conditions.

Furthermore, acupuncture may also be able to help you reduce your reliance on other treatments. For example, if acupuncture reduces your pain significantly, you may be able to work with your doctor to reduce the amount of pain medication you take.

If you suffer from chronic pain and want to see if acupuncture can help you, call 845-668-1700 or book an appointment online with Pearl River Acupuncture today.


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