Acupuncture and Pain
According to the latest research, pain – especially chronic pain – is not simply a matter of a bodily response to injury. Medical imaging (such as MRI) frequently reveals no physical damage at the site of pain; conversely, there is often no pain at the site of physiological damage or abnormalities identified by medical imaging. It has therefore become clear that there are many factors beyond the biomedical model – from psychological and emotional state, to preexisting perceptions and beliefs, to culture, to deficiencies and imbalances in the bodily systems – that affect how pain is experienced.
What is certain is that the source of perceived pain is the nervous system and its ascending pathways to the brain. In acute situations, the pain is an appropriate response. In chronic or persistent situations, pain can be lessened or eliminated by retraining the inappropriate perception of the brain and nervous system (in short, retraining of nociception and the neural signature of pain on the brain) to restore function.
Most physicians try to block pain perception in the long term with medications, including opioids, despite the overwhelming evidence of the lack of effectiveness and potential harm of this approach.
As a holistic therapy, acupuncture is perfectly positioned as an alternative approach to reducing persistent pain, without side effects or dangers of addiction:
Acupuncture can help block acute pain and chronic nociception, allowing the painful area to regain function through usage.
Acupuncture can help calm any mental or emotional contribution to persistent pain, including stress, anxiety, and catastrophizing.
Acupuncture can help address any deficiencies or imbalances in the body that are contributing to pain, tension, and inflammation.
Acupuncture (like the related modality of dry needling, although with far more training and awareness of the entire body) can stimulate trigger points that physically release tight musculature that refers to painful areas.
I have a great deal of experience in helping bodies to reduce or eliminate all sorts of pain: back pain, neck pain, joint pain, tendonitis, nerve pain (like sciatica), plantar fasciitis, headaches and migraines, digestive, and more. Please consider this therapy as a complement to your current treatment to speed recovery, improve your overall experience, and help you get back to living a full life.
– Dr. David Buscher, D.Ac.