Pain Relief Specialist
Acupuncture is fast gaining acceptance in mainstream medicine right across the Western world. It's already used routinely in several Australian emergency departments and is now undergoing a randomised, controlled trial in three Melbourne hospitals to alleviate pain from acute migraines, back pain and ankle sprain.
Researchers at the University of York and Hull York Medical School in the UK have just mapped acupuncture's effect on the brain and have found that it changes specific neural structures, deactivating the areas in the brain associated with the processing of pain.
The results of 29 studies involving nearly 18,000 participants. Some had acupuncture, some had “sham” acupuncture, and some didn’t have acupuncture at all. Overall, acupuncture relieved pain by about 50%. The results were published in Archives of Internal Medicine.
Relief back pain within 3 sessions
Back pain is commonly considered a nerve impingement syndrome. The way it works is that there's some kind of structural problem that prevents the nerves from exiting the spinal cord through the spinal vertebrae and out into the body. When there is something pinching one of these nerves as it exits the spine it causes pain. The common term for this problem is a "pinched nerve."
"What we've found anecdotally is that people who have come into an emergency department in pain and tried acupuncture, have had their pain relieved in a very short period of time." Acupuncture can also be safely combined with most conventional drugs and treatments and has very few side effects.
Arthritis pain relief
A major study involving 570 patients looking at the effect of acupuncture on osteoarthritis of the knee has found that it can both relieve pain and improve movement.
Today, acupuncture is one of the most accepted complementary therapies in the country, with more than 80 per cent of GPs referring patients to an accredited acupuncturist in the past 12 months. And, despite not being part of the standard curriculum, about one-fifth of GPs have gone on to do post-graduate training in acupuncture.
Migraines and headaches
There are four types of headache: vascular, muscle contraction (tension), traction, and inflammatory. The most common type of vascular headache is migraine. Migraine headaches are usually characterized by severe pain on one or both sides of the head, an upset stomach, and, at times, disturbed vision. Women are more likely than men to have migraine headaches.
Randomised controlled studies have shown acupuncture can reduce tension headaches by half and ensure fewer headaches after three to four months than routine drug treatment.
More information: www.acupuncture.com.au