Acupuncture is a traditional Chinese medicine technique that is known for balancing the flow of qi energy within your body. This is done with the help of really thin needles which are inserted into your body at various points. Acupuncture comes under Holistic medicine which is known as holistic healing and is combined with different therapies.
Acupuncture is said to decrease the pain and bring you comfort.
But for it to work, a trained professional should target energy points when inserting the needles. These needles should not cause you much discomfort in any way. The acupuncture points for lower and upper back pain are different from each other.
In this article, you will get to know a lot of interesting information regarding acupuncture and how its practice can help with back pain. You will also learn the scientific principles behind this practice, and also why this may be a beneficial practice for you, especially if you suffer from back pain.
How Acupuncture Works For Back Pain
There is not enough data and research on how acupuncture works in lowering your back pain however, some theories have been suggested.
- With the application of needles, there is a speed in the relay of electromagnetic signals. This can trigger the flow of chemicals such as endorphins and thus, lowering the pain.
- With acupuncture, the needles may trigger the release of natural opioids as well as within your body. These chemicals are found in your brain and can help you lower your pain and help you sleep.
- Acupuncture stimulates the Central Nervous System which releases chemicals from the spinal cord, muscles, and brain releasing pain naturally.
- Acupuncture can also release neurotransmitters. These are hormones that can send a “shut off” signal to the brain for pain.
A Close-Up Of An Acupuncture Session
The procedure involves inserting extremely thin needles into the pressure points in the meridian points (acupuncture points). It could be in the whole body or where the pain has grown. With your back pain, your points could vary from knee points, footpoints, stomach points, neck, or shoulders.
Here is a short step-by-step insider’s look into an acupuncture session:
- A gown or towel is provided before the procedure starts and then the patient has to lie on a padded table for the treatment.
- After the patient has comfortably situated themselves on the table, the needles are inserted on the meridian points in the body. These needles are thin causing only the slightest of discomfort if any in the beginning. The number of needles inserted depends on which area is being worked on.
- The next step is needle manipulation where the needles are gently moved or replaced to the affected areas or slight heat may be applied.
- The needles stay in the affected areas for 10-20 minutes and then some time is given to you to relax. When needles are being removed, no discomfort is felt thus making the procedure an easier one in comparison to other methods.
The Various Benefits Of Acupuncture
Acupuncture works in a way to change and modify the chemistry of your brain. With the help of acupuncture, you can almost eliminate your nerve impulses and improve the functioning of your body. Moreover, with the application of the needles, your energy channel blockage is removed leading to a smooth flow of energy.
Common acupuncture points for lower back pain are back of the knee points, footpoints, lower back points, hand points, hip points, and stomach points. However, common points for upper back pain are found on the head, neck, shoulders, and upper back.
Here are some benefits of acupuncture that make it an increasingly desirable form of holistic healing therapy.
- It is safer than other treatments that involve medications and unnatural chemicals.
- The side effects are few since the process is natural and does not involve long procedures and medications.
- It works well with other treatments be it medication or surgeries.
- It lowers pain with the needle method and releases natural chemicals in the body such as endorphins.
- It is medication free so no unnatural chemicals get into your body.
- It is a great solution if pain medications do not work.
- It helps you relieve stress and lowers depression.
- It helps you improve your body’s function and promotes a natural self-healing process.
Why Do Acupuncture?
The treatment of acupuncture takes place to help one with the discomfort of different kinds of pain such as chemotherapy, headaches, labor pain, neck pain, and back pain.
Acupuncture helps in one achieving a balance within all chemicals of the body to make you feel energetic and well, mentally and physically. The most common reason for acupuncture is for pain relief with neck and back pain being the most common ones.
Pain And Acupuncture
Acupuncture involves a Chinese philosophy behind its working for pain relief. The philosophy does not trace back to the laws involving science and medicine. The reasoning behind this is still not very clear, however, acupuncture has proved to help a lot.
The Chinese philosophy states that our body is filled with a life-giving force called “qi”. The philosophy states that if “qi” flows well in the body, then the human body is in the right state of mind, physically and mentally.
Acupuncture is a process that involves needling acupuncture points within one’s body which can stimulate the Central Nervous System. With the application of needles, acupuncture helps to unblock and move the body’s energy. The energy is moved through the body’s functional systems involving the nervous, respiratory, circulatory, muscular, and digestive systems.
Acupuncture further triggers certain chemicals and hormones in the body to be released and to adjust the pain between your brain and spinal cord. With the release of these chemicals and hormones, your physical pain is lowered and the energy within your body is improved. With the release of these chemicals, one feels emotionally better- as well.
It is known that acupuncture is not harmful in any way and is as good as any other medical care for back pain. With the process of acupuncture, you can feel a release in pain with your nerves being stimulated and with the release of endorphins. Furthermore, acupuncture reduces inflammation by promoting the release of vascular and immunomodulatory factors.
How Many Treatments Would I Need And How Much Would It Cost?
The number of acupuncture treatments varies from person to person and the type of pain, as well as the degree of pain, felt. If you feel a great relief in the first session, you may not need another treatment however, some may experience a little relief thus, needing more treatments.
However, most commonly few visits are needed varying from 5-10. The amount for each treatment varies from country to country as well. A single treatment may cost $70-100, 4-5 treatments may cost $300-375 and 8-10 treatments may cost $500-600.
Some Last Words
If you believe this is the right procedure for you, do not forget to consult your doctor before considering the method. This method should only be done with a practitioner and trained acupuncturist.
Seeking advice from a medical expert is important to know if you can do it with your medical history. If you are interested in trying out acupuncture for back pain, consult a trained acupuncturist to make sure it is safe.
Author Michael Kaliko DC