by Dr (TCM) Attilio D’Alberto, acupuncturist and author of My Fertility Guide: How to get pregnant naturally, out now, priced £13.49. Also available in Kindle and as an audiobook. www.attiliodalberto.com
What is acupuncture?
Acupuncture is an alternative medicine that is a part of traditional Chinese medicine or TCM. It works by regulating our energy or qi (pronounced “chee”).
When qi doesn’t move, it causes pain. Acupuncture also helps blood to flow around our bodies as when blood is stagnant, this can also cause pain. To use an analogy, pain is like in winter time when the water in your house pipes freezes (stagnates) and bursts (pain).
Can acupuncture ease pain?
Acupuncture is effective in pain management and can help to relieve all types of pain, including back and joint pain.
Research suggests that when specific acupuncture points are stimulated with a fine needle for 30 minutes, it elicits a healing response and regulates qi in that area, causing the nerve signals to move correctly and relieve pain.
How long does acupuncture relieve pain for?
Like every form of treatment or medicine, acupuncture is a dose.
The pain relief effects of acupuncture usually last around 3-4 days, and can start to wear off. However, the pain won’t return to its original level.
How quickly does acupuncture relieve pain?
Once you’ve had an acupuncture treatment, you should notice an instant reduction in your level of pain. You should also notice less tension in your muscles and an improvement in your overall well-being.
In chronic conditions, there may be a worsening of symptoms the next day with a subsequent overall improvement the days afterwards.
With subsequent acupuncture sessions, the level of pain relief will improve – usually to around 70-90%.
How to maintain pain relief after having acupuncture treatment
To maintain reduced levels of pain, a person must make changes to their lifestyle and diet. Try to reduce stress and be more active by taking gentle exercise, like walking or yoga.
Wear more clothing in winter time to keep your energy and blood moving properly.
It is worth continuing with acupuncture treatment for a while after the initial pain has gone. Pain is like the tip of the iceberg showing above the water – the bulk of the problem is often hidden beneath the surface and still needs treatment.