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Everyone experiences the occasional ache or pain from time to time. In fact, the sudden onset of pain is an important function of the nervous system, as it makes you aware of a potential injury. Under normal circumstances, the severity of pain lessens as an injury heals; however, if you’re in a constant state of discomfort, chances are you’re suffering from chronic pain.
Chronic pain can be more than just uncomfortable; it can be downright debilitating. It can also impact your quality of life and lead to a variety of other physiological and psychological problems, such as anxiety and depression, sleep impairment, hypertension, weight gain, and even brain structure changes. In other words, prolonged pain can negatively affect your overall health and well-being.
Pinched nerves, arthritis, sciatica, fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue syndrome; there are so many painful conditions. Whatever the cause, if you suffer from chronic pain, there’s no doubt you’re seeking an effective way to alleviate your discomfort and get your life back. Whether you’ve tried pain relief methods in the past, such as over-the-counter and/or prescription pain medications, to no avail, or you want to avoid pharmaceutical products completely and are seeking a more natural approach to pain management, there is an option that you might want to consider: Acupuncture.
To learn more about this traditional Chinese medicine, how it works for chronic pain, and why acupuncture is an effective pain relief option that you should seriously think about exploring, keep on reading.
As previously mentioned, acute pain is a normal and healthy response to injuries. When you sustain an injury – a stubbed toe, a banged knee, or a twisted ankle, for example – pain signals that originate at the site of the injury travel through your spinal cord to your brain, allowing you to feel the sensation of pain. As the injury heals, the pain subsides. Chronic pain, however, is different, as it persists long after an injury has healed, and in some cases, the root cause may not be known.
With chronic pain, the nervous system is inundated with pain signals for a period of weeks, months, or even years. The pain can come and go, or it can be persistent, and it can occur anywhere in your body. Sometimes, the cause of chronic pain is obvious; it could be sparked by an injury or a disease, such as a broken bone or a serious infection, which can leave you more sensitive to pain. Ongoing ailments can also be the source of chronic pain, like arthritis or cancer. Sometimes, however, the cause of chronic pain isn’t linked to an obvious cause, such as an injury or illness; in other words, the cause is unknown.
When the cause of an ongoing painful condition is unknown, the response is known as psychosomatic or psychogenic pain. Psychological factors, such as anxiety, stress, or depression, can prompt long-lasting discomfort, which can be felt in a centralized area or can be widespread. Though the exact reason this happens isn’t clear, researchers believe that psychogenic or psychosomatic pain is the result of low levels of endorphins, the body’s natural “feel-good” chemicals. These neurochemicals are produced during pleasurable activities and when a painful experience occurs. They interact with receptors in the brain, affecting the way you experience pleasure and pain. Endorphins are also known as the body’s natural pain relievers. When you experience something painful – you sprain your ankle or you throw out your back – your body releases endorphins to temporarily relieve discomfort. If levels of these neurochemicals are low, it’s understandable why chronic pain could occur.
While the way in which acupuncture works isn’t fully understood, numerous theories have been proposed. One theory holds that the thin needles that are inserted into acupuncture points stimulate the release of the body’s natural pain-relieving chemicals, known as endorphins. It has also been postulated that acupuncture influences the autonomic nervous system, which is responsible for controlling bodily functions, and prompts the release of natural chemicals that manage blood pressure and blood flow, minimize inflammation, and even promote calmness within the brain.
Acupuncture is a traditional Chinese medicine practice that originated thousands of years ago. It is based on the premise that the body contains two opposing, yet inseparable forces: yin and yang. There is a delicate balance between these two forces, and health is achieved when they are balanced.
According to traditional Chinese medicine, when yin and yang are imbalanced, “qi” (pronounced “chee”) – the life force or flow of energy that is believed to regulate physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual health – disease occurs. Qi is said to run through invisible energy channels known as meridians, each of which contains several acupuncture points that are connected to various organs, systems, or areas of the body. Traditional Chinese medicine practitioners believe that there are thousands of acupuncture points throughout the body, and stimulating these points with very thin needles prompts the body to produce and release natural chemicals, which corrects the imbalances or blockages of qi, and restores physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual health.
Find Natural, Safe, and Effective Pain Relief at Nin Nan Healing Art Center
To learn more about the wonderful benefits of acupuncture for pain relief, contact a leading Board Certified and Licensed Long Island Acupuncturist: Ni Nan Gilbert, L.Ac, at Ni Nan Healing Art Center. Call 516.442.7408 and we will be delighted to discuss any of your concerns and answer all of your questions. At Ni Nan Healing Center, we are looking forward to relieving your pain and helping you achieve optimal health.
Call Ni Nan’s Healing Art Center for a free consultation