According to the National Institute of Health (NIH) , a number of studies suggest that acupuncture works particularly well on chronic pain such as:
- back and neck pain
- knee pain
It often reduces the incidence and severity of tension headaches and may prevent migraines. “Therefore,” the NIH concludes, “acupuncture appears to be a reasonable option for people with chronic pain to consider.”
Late in 1997, the NIH released a consensus statement supporting the use of acupuncture as part of a comprehensive treatment plan for some conditions. According to the statement, there is some evidence of efficacy in relieving the pain of fibromyalgia, post-operative pain, osteoarthritis, and myofascial pain. The NIH panel pointed out that acupuncture is associated with a lower risk of adverse events than those associated with drugs or other medical intervention.
It is well-documented that acupuncture works for pain relief by the modulation of endorphin levels, releasing the body’s natural pain killer hormones. Acupuncture apparently alleviates the awareness of pain. Did you know that acupuncture is even used as anesthesia during surgery? It’s true! By stimulating certain acupuncture points, an absence of pain is produced and patients can undergo surgery while awake. Sometimes acupuncture anesthesia is combined with anesthesia drugs, but the dosage of anesthesia is reduced so the patient remains awake during the procedure. Wow!
A recent review of several studies published in The Journal of Pain, concluded that “acupuncture is effective for the treatment of chronic musculoskeletal, headache, and osteoarthritis pain. Treatment effects of acupuncture persist over time and cannot be explained solely in terms of placebo effects. Referral for a course of acupuncture treatment is a reasonable option for a patient with chronic pain. “