If you have chronic pain, you might consider acupuncture. Acupuncture has been used for thousands of years as the primary form of medicine in China. Modern medicine, as we know it, is only a little over 100 years old. Prior to modern pharmaceuticals, natural remedies were used to treat all diseases.
Acupuncture treats pain by improving circulation and relaxing muscles. In Chinese medicine theory, pain is caused by stuck energy. We call this “stagnation”. It is a blockage of the normal, healthy circulation that causes pain. If you do not have good circulation, you cannot be pain free.
There are a variety of ways that acupuncture can be used to treat pain. One method is to put the acupuncture needles directly on the area of pain. This is the most common method. When you put a needle into a muscle that is in spasm and is tight, after 20 to 30 minutes, the muscle will relax. It is a simple physiological response. The pain is caused by tight muscles, the acupuncture relaxes the muscles and the pain goes away.
If you have chronic pain, it will take time to completely relieve all your muscle spasms and help you get complete pain relief. This is because once you have a problem in one muscle, the adjacent muscles are affected. You will also often have very tight knots that build up over time that have to be released.
When you get acupuncture, we treat the underlying cause of your problem. We will often treat your other ailments such as fatigue and insomnia at the same time. It is not possible to be completely pain free if you are so exhausted that you do not have the energy to function normally. Chinese medicine is holistic; we always treat the whole person and the root of problem. Our goal is to address all the imbalances you have that might be affecting your health.
Another way acupuncture is used to treat pain is by using “distal” points. These points are located on the affected acupuncture meridian and are not actually on the site of the pain. For example, a point by your knee could be used to treat your shoulder. A point by your ankle could treat your lower back. This works by activating the meridian and improving circulation and blood flow. Once the “blockage” of the meridian is removed, you can have healthy circulation.
If your pain was caused by a recent injury and you have a lot of bruising or swelling, it is usually best to not get acupuncture where you hurt. We often will do the opposite side of where you were hurt. Treating the opposite side will tend to balance out your meridian energy flow and relieve pain by reducing blocked blood and energy.
When you are injured, there is too much blood and energy that is drawn into the area. This has to be broken down before you will achieve full results. Another good option for recent injuries is Chinese herbs. There are many Chinese herbal formulas that effectively treat pain and inflammation.
It is important to continue getting acupuncture until you have a full resolution of your problem. You cannot expect to get acupuncture once or twice and have a complete healing. It takes time for your body to resolve issues. An average treatment schedule is twice per week for 8 to 10 sessions. The cost of acupuncture averages $80 in America. This makes acupuncture not affordable for the majority of people. This is where community acupuncture comes in.
Community acupuncture is done in a group setting. You do not disrobe. You will sit in a room with a few other people and get acupuncture at the same time. Recliners are often used. You can sit comfortably with acupuncture needles on your limbs, from the knees down and the elbows down.
Getting acupuncture in this format will enable you to get as many treatments as you need to get completely well. Getting acupuncture in a group setting is how it is done in China. Treatments in America have traditionally been in a private setting. Private sessions are by nature very expensive, because the cost of the room has to be recouped for the entire hour you are there. If you share the room with one to two other people, the expenses of the room are spread across all the patients getting care.
Since Acupuncture is most effective if given often and for a period of time, community sessions are an affordable way to make this possible for most people. The cost of community sessions varies by clinic. Some have a fixed fee of $35 or $40. Many have a sliding scale of $20 to $40. You decide what to pay. Community acupuncture clinics are popping up all over the world. This is an effective and affordable way to treat most health issues.
An acupuncurist with over 15 years experience treating patients, Deborah now offers Community Acupuncture.