As addiction to pain medications is skyrocketing, many are looking for more natural ways to resolve pain. When pain doesn’t go away as it should, we need to ask WHY. We need to get to the root of it. Taking medications just masks the underlying problem. It may temporarily feel better, but the problem under the surface still exists. The best way to eliminate pain is to resolve the underlying cause of the pain and address the factors that are preventing it from resolving on its own.
How do we do that? First of all, a thorough evaluation and investigation of the mechanisms of the pain is in order. Is this an injury? If so, acute or chronic? If acute, acupuncture can greatly shorten the time it takes to heal. If chronic, why isn’t it healing in an appropriate amount of time? Discover that mechanism and address that issue, and we take care of the pain by eliminating the interfering factor.
Is the condition health/disease-related? Now we get into the complexities. This is where deeper investigative work is warranted. Sorting out the confusing pieces of the puzzle and putting it into a coherent causative-factor picture allows us to apply many tools to resolve the health issue, and therefore the pain.
One tool that we may use is acupuncture. Much research has been done on the efficacy of acupuncture for the treatment of acute and chronic pain – both injury and disease-related pain. There have also been some impressive meta-analysis (analysis of multiple research papers), one of which is summarized by New York Times editor Ahahad O’Connor, September 11, 2012 entitled “Acupuncture Provides True Pain Relief in Study”. Calling it “The most rigorous and detailed analysis of the treatment to date – found that it can ease migraines and arthritis and other forms of chronic pain”. He continues: “The findings provide strong scientific support for an age-old therapy used by an estimated three million Americans each year.” He said it was financed by the National Institutes of Health and took place over 6 years and involved the data from nearly 18,000 patients.
O’Connor continued by saying “The researchers, who published their results in Archives of Internal Medicine, found that acupuncture outperformed sham treatments and standard care when used by people suffering from osteoarthritis, migraines and chronic back, neck and shoulder pain.” Standard care meant medications, both over-the-counter and prescribed.
The team, headed by Dr. Andrew J. Vickers was composed of a host of scientists from around the world — England, Germany, Sweden and elsewhere. Their conclusion was quoted: “We think there’s firm evidence supporting acupuncture for the treatment of chronic pain.”
Acupuncture is only one of the modalities we use to eliminate pain.
©2020 Holly A. Carling, O.M.D., L.Ac., Ph.D.