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According to The Insider there are 8 benefits of having acupuncture to help with pain relief.

1. In a small 2015 study of 36 people with chronic anxiety, participants reported a decrease in anxiety symptoms after receiving acupuncture for 10 weeks. This improvement lasted through follow-up 10 weeks later.

2. In a small study from 2013, participants who received acupuncture reported as much relief from painful periods as participants who took NSAIDs, like ibuprofen or aspirin

3. In a 2020 study, 344 people with IBS who received 18 acupuncture treatments over 6 weeks reported more improvement in their symptoms than the 175 participants who received medication only.

4. Acupuncture is safe to receive during pregnancy, and research suggests it can help relieve the low back and pelvic pain pregnant people commonly experience.

5. Acupuncture works to relieve stress by regulating the autonomic nervous system, which helps get the body out of the flight or fight response.

6. Acupuncture is increasingly used as an integrative approach to cancer care.

7. In a 2009 study, people who received acupuncture treatments for low back pain reported more improvement than those who received their usual care. Even people who received simulated acupuncture, which involves the same pressure point approach but doesn’t penetrate the skin, saw an improvement.

8. A 2016 review of 12 studies on headaches concluded that acupuncture appears effective for treating tension headaches.

2.3 million acupuncture treatments are carried out each year, traditional acupuncture is one of the most popular complementary therapies practiced in the UK today. Yet statistics show that 1 in 5 of us would only consider acupuncture for sleep as a last resort. Almost a quarter of people admit they didn’t realise acupuncture could benefit them despite its widely recognised health benefits. It is also now available on the NHS.

Acupuncture works by stimulating your own body’s healing mechanisms to help with pain and recovery. The concept has been part of traditional Chinese medicine since 1000BC where it was written in scripts on the holistic concept on how it can help heal the body.

Without balance in our bodies, there are many health-related problems we can encounter and having an Acupuncture treatment can help to restore your body systems to the right balance. They are quite often referred to as Yin (which is negative) and Yang (which is positive).

The conventional Acupuncture involves the use of single-use, pre-sterilised, disposable needles of varying widths, lengths and materials that pierce the skin at the Acupuncture points. The Physiotherapist will determine the locations of the Acupuncture points, based upon the assessment of the cause of the imbalance. A number of needles may be used at each treatment and these are typically left in position for some 20-30 minutes before being removed.

Trigger point Acupuncture may also be used to facilitate relaxation in specific muscles following trauma such as whiplash injury; for longer-term unresolving muscle pain such as repetitive strain injury (RSI) or as a means to obtain increased muscle length in order to aid stretch and rehabilitation such as sports injuries. Here the needle is placed into the affected muscle until it is felt to relax under the needle and then removed. Trigger point needling is often much quicker and therefore does not require the 20-30-minute treatment time.

Should it be used weekly, fortnightly, less or more? Is it something you could use to treat yourself? With alternative therapies being preferred by many sufferers for pain relief it’s a case of working out the correct balance of treatments that you need. And, if not available from your NHS finding someone local to give you a session.

Source: The Insider Back Pain Blog UK

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