Overcoming Chronic Pain?

How does acupuncture work for pain?

In a traditional Chinese term, inserting acupuncture needles is to release the energy blockage which causes pain in the body. When we try to explain it to primary school children, we often say: "The acupuncturist's work is similar to a plumber, to unclogging blockages. When a plumber sees an overflow in the basin, he understands where the block is and uses the plunger to unblock the drain and the work is done. An acupuncturist sees the pain in the body and understands which energy lines in our body are blocked, he uses fine needles to release those blocks. When the energy flow is restored, the pain goes away.” In biomedical terms, acupuncture to ease the pain is by affecting neurotransmitters, hormone levels and the immune system.

How often and how many acupuncture is needed?

For acute conditions, a daily or alternate-day session works the best, as it generates a good momentum for a rapid recovery. For chronic pain and long-term conditions, plan on weekly treatments until you start to see a benefit, then gradually lengthen the time until the next visit. The number of treatments needed depends on the nature of your problem as well as your overall health, your age, and how you respond to acupuncture. A general rule of thumb is for problems older than one year, it usually takes at least 10 treatments to resolve the problem. Acute problems typically take fewer treatments, ranging anywhere from 3-6 treatments on average.

What you need to know before your first acupuncture appointment

1. Expect to be Relaxed: Some people are very nervous before their first treatment. That is OK! As experienced acupuncturists, we are highly skilled at putting you at ease, talking you through the process and performing gentle treatments. Most people find that the session is much easier and gentler than they have expected.

2. Holistic Consultation/Assessment: On your first visit our acupuncturist will spend the time to gain a thorough understanding of your main complaint of pain and also your general health and lifestyle. Based on all the information you have given, the practitioner will make a diagnosis and put together a treatment plan tailor to your need, which may include lifestyle and dietary advice besides a set of acupuncture treatments.

3. Receiving Treatment: Most likely, you will be laying down to receive your first acupuncture treatment. Your practitioner will use very fine single-use pre-sterilised needles to stimulate specific acupuncture points on your body. During the treatment, most people begin to feel very relaxed. Most people experience a sense of calmness and notice the relief or decrease of symptoms right after the treatment. The number of treatments needed depends on the nature of your problem as well as your overall health, your age, and how you respond to acupuncture. A general rule of thumb is for problems older than one year, it usually takes at least 10 treatments to resolve the problem. Acute problems typically take fewer treatments, ranging anywhere from 3-6 treatments on average.