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Chronic Pain

WellPath Acupuncture & Healing Arts in Cary, NC has many years experience successfully treating and managing chronic pain conditions.  Chronic pain can range in intensity from a minor bother to utterly debilitating. Regardless of the intensity, chronic pain is often emotionally taxing and can impact one’s quality of life. Current data shows that it is affecting at least 30% of Americans today. Fortunately, relief and management of pain can often be found with a Traditional Chinese Medicine approach. Extensive peer-reviewed research studies have shown that acupuncture is a powerful, effective treatment option with no harmful side effects.

IMG_0639-1According to Dr. Lucy Chen, a board-certified anesthesiologist, specialist in pain medicine, and practicing acupuncturist at Harvard-affiliated Massachusetts General Hospital, “I think the benefit of acupuncture is clear, and the complications and potential adverse effects of acupuncture are low compared with medication.”

The beauty of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) is that the person experiencing pain symptoms is treated as a whole, and the underlying causes are sought. In addition to directly addressing pain, acupuncture can multi-task to help reduce stress, benefit sleep, lift and stabilize mood, and improve energy… incremental benefits pain patients often desperately need.

Basic TCM medical theory views pain as a blockage or deficiency of the body’s vital energy (called Qi). Acupuncture helps restore proper flow through these passages (called meridians) in addition to promoting the body’s own natural healing response.

Does placing hair thin needles at acu-points on the body actually cause a flow of energy? A study demonstrating the body’s map of meridian pathways involved the injection of technetium 99 into both true and sham acu-points. The scans demonstrated random diffusion of the tracer around sham points, but rapid progression of the tracer along the meridian at a rate that was unexplainable by blood flow, lymphatic flow, or nerve pathways (1). Functional magnetic resonance imaging is also showing that corresponding areas of the brain light up when, for instance, a point on the leg traditionally used to treat eye pain is needled.

In addition to acupuncture, other types of therapies may be utilized to address pain. Lifestyle changes and self-care techniques may be necessary to maintain the health of the body, including addressing nutrition, posture, exercise, and stress levels. Management or elimination of pain can be possible with this comprehensive approach!

1. Vernejoul P, Albarede P, Darras JC. Nuclear medicine and acupuncture message transmission. J Nucl Med 1992;33:409-12.