Why does acupuncture work for back pain? A number of studies exists, such as a recent one conducted by the Group Health Center for Health Studies in Seattle, that have concluded that acupuncture is more effective in treating back pain than the standard treatment of medication and physical therapy. How it does that is a matter of some debate among researchers.
Chinese practitioners will tell you that acupuncture redresses an imbalance in the flow of energy through the body called “chi,” according to Harvard Men’s Health. Dr. Lucy Chen, a board-certified anesthesiologist, specialist in pain medicine, and practicing acupuncturist at Harvard-affiliated Massachusetts General Hospital puts the matter in more western scientific terms. Acupuncture seems to adjust neurotransmitters, hormone levels, and the immune system in the human body.
The Spine Health site adds that acupuncture can release opioid peptides by stimulating the human nervous system. These kinds of opioids plays an enormous role in alleviating all kinds of chronic pain, including back pain. Another theory is that acupuncture serves as conductors of electromagnetic energy. This in turn stimulates the production of endorphins which serve as the body’s natural pain killers.
The National Institutes of Health have recognized since 1998 that acupuncture is a safe, effective method of pain relief, not only for back pain but also for post-operative dental pain, headaches, and carpel tunnel syndrome. Subsequent studies have only proven to bolster this conclusion.
Thus anyone who is suffering from chronic back pain for whom the standard treatments are not working may benefit from a course of acupuncture from a reputable practitioner.
For more information about acupuncture for back pain contact us.
Acupuncture for Anxiety: New Study Shows Teens May Need Help Managing Stress
When you think about a person who is stressed out, chances are you have a picture in your head of an adult. A new study shows that teens are actually just as stressed, if not more so, than adults, and may need help coping with the pressure they feel. One solution may be acupuncture for stress and anxiety.
Researchers questioned 1,000 teenagers and found that more than a quarter of them are experiencing extreme stress, and over 50% of them have moderate anxiety levels. 34% of them are looking ahead and predict their stress level will only increase over the coming months.
What are teens stressed about? 59% of them have a hard time balancing all their activities such as school, work, and extra-curriculars. Then there’s homework, future college plans, and relationships with friends or family that add on to the pressure.
Because of high stress levels, teens are experiencing:
- sleep disturbance
- irritability and anger
- a feeling of being overwhelmed
- difficulty coping
Researchers are concerned that teens are not learning healthy ways to deal with their stress level, which is setting them up for a lifetime of physical and emotional ailments. Many teens turn to emotional eating, video games, or time online as a way of dealing with their stress. Our country is at a record high for prescription drugs taken by teens to treat anxiety and depression. Others are turning to alcohol or illegal drugs.
To set teens up for lifelong health, they need to be able to deal with stress in a healthy, constructive way. The stress they feel now isn’t going anywhere, so some suggestions for dealing with stress include exercising, relaxation techniques, as well as counseling or therapy. Acupuncture has proven to be very beneficial to adults suffering from stress and anxiety so it is something parents of teens should look into as another way of dealing with the pressure they feel.
If you or your teen are feeling stress and anxiety and are looking for healthy ways to deal with it, contact us.