The Truth about Chemical Pain Relievers
50 million people in the United States are living with pain1. Many of these people, especially those suffering from chronic pain, use over-the-counter (OTC) painkillers. These drugs, such as Advil, Aleve, Motrin, Tylenol, and others, present minimal risks when used once in a while. But many people rely on OTCs for daily treatment of chronic pain conditions, despite the fact that overuse of those medicines damage the body by inducing stomach bleeding, liver conditions, inhibited bone healing2, and other very serious side effects. In fact, the FDA has recently reported that non-prescription pain relievers such as aspirin, ibuprofen and acetaminophen need stronger health warnings regarding risks of liver and stomach problems. Some manufacturers already note the health risks on packages, but the FDA wants the warnings to be more prominent and more specific3. In addition, Advil and Aleve, which thin the blood, may raise blood pressure4.
The Good News
A natural solution to pain is widely available and that solution is acupuncture. For the past several thousand years, acupuncture has been used to treat pain safely and effectively. Most pain conditions, whether chronic or acute, mild or severe, can be treated successfully with acupuncture .
Benefits of Acupuncture for Pain
One of the main benefits of acupuncture for pain is that treatment focuses on eliminating more than just the acute symptom of pain. Acupuncture prevents or significantly reduces recurrence of pain by correcting the underlying cause of imbalance in the body. OTC painkillers only offer a temporary solution by reducing the level of pain sensation for a short amount of time, but do not treat the underlying condition that causes the pain in the first place.
According to Chinese medicine, when qi and blood flow is blocked or deficient, there is pain. The area of the body which experiences the discomfort is deprived of adequate qi and blood circulation. The acupuncture treatment opens up blocked areas, thus reinstating free-flow of qi and blood throughout the entire body. The longer a blockage condition exists, the more severe it becomes, and the longer it takes to resolve. Pain is a signal between the body and brain that something is out of balance which when left untreated or masked with OTC drugs, will become a bigger problem leading to imbalance of other systems in the body. Therefore, it is best to treat pain as soon as it arises. Acupuncture patients often experience instant results, and/or patients notice a gradual improvement with each successive treatment, until they are mostly or completely pain-free.
Bonus Effects of Acupuncture
Not only does the natural solution of acupuncture carry no risk of side-effects, it actually enhances overall health! Desirable “bonus effects” that acupuncture has on the body include boosting energy, regulating digestion, enhancing the immune system, and reducing stress and mood swings. In addition to improving the quality of life, it may also improve the quantity of life; acupuncture is very useful in the prevention of illness and promotes longevity!
Acupuncture Soothes All Types of Pain
Types of pain that acupuncture can effectively reduce or eliminate include the following:
- Carpal tunnel syndrome
- Back pain
- Digestive pain
- Neck pain
- Irritable Bowel Syndrome
- Joint pain/swelling
- Muscle pain/stiffness/tension
- Menstrual pain
- Sprains and strains
- TMJ Disorder
- Trigeminal Neuralgia
- Menstrual cramps
2 Journal of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons. May-June 2004;12(3):139-43
3 USA Today; December 20, 2006 | Yahoo News December 19, 2006
4 Archives of Internal Medicine. October 28, 2002;162:2204-2208