Acupuncture for Chronic Pain

Midwife setting pregnant woman acupuncture needle
Acupuncture can help alleviate chronic pain.

Research shows that acupuncture alleviates chronic pain better than standard medical care. 

Most people who see me for help with chronic pain say they don’t like taking pain medications. The good news is that acupuncture is a safe and effective option for people who want to decrease their use of pain medications. Research shows that acupuncture effectively treats all types of pain. In fact, the US military uses acupuncture to treat pain in combat settings. Acupuncture is so safe that its “side effects” are all positive: better sleep and mood, less use of medications. The usual reaction to acupuncture treatment is a pleasant feeling of drowsiness, warmth and relaxation.

How soon after beginning acupuncture treatment will I start seeing a decrease in my pain? Most people experience pain relief during their first treatment, and can expect pain reduction to increase with subsequent treatments. Because it is a new experience, some people have a hard time relaxing during the first treatment, and feel significantly more relaxed during their second treatment. Most people experience a positive shift in their sense of well being during the first session.

How will I know I’m getting better? The proof is in how you feel – most people will feel some pain relief from the first treatment. Also, I will ask you to rate yourself 1-10 on your level of pain and will keep track of these numbers to get a sense of your progress.

How many treatments will I need? Generally for any issue, I recommend clients plan to come in once-a-week for six weeks. You will probably feel improvement from the first or second treatment. People with chronic pain conditions often find that coming in for a treatment every week or two significantly improves their pain level, mobility and quality of life.

What are the side effects of acupuncture? Unlike medications, acupuncture has no unpleasant side effects. Positive side effects you may experience include better sleep, a sense of calm and enhanced well-being. Don’t hesitate to tell me about all the symptoms that are troubling you, in addition to your pain, because I can work on multiple issues in one treatment.

Is acupuncture safe if I’m on pain medication? Definitely! There are no contraindications for acupuncture with medications – in fact, people often use acupuncture to help them decrease their use of pain medications.


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