Acupuncture can be formally defined as “a complementary medical practice that involves stimulating certain points on the body, most often with a needle penetrating the skin, to alleviate pain or to help treat various health conditions,” according to LiveScience. Acupuncture is becoming more and more popular in America; a 2012 study found that 14.01 million people were using acupuncture in 2007, and the numbers have certainly increased from there. With the opioid crisis affecting millions around the United States, acupuncture is becoming more widespread.
Acupuncture has been shown to provide many benefits, including stress reduction and pain relief, but also to increase levels of chemicals in the brain such as serotonin, norepinephrine, dopamine, and more. According to Forbes magazine, acupuncture was recognized as a therapy for drug treatment by the World Health Organization (WHO) in 1996. Many have been utilizing acupuncture as a way to manage their pain, which is reducing the number of opioid prescriptions needed, thus helping to reduce the number of opioid addictions.
A 2015 study conducted by Harvard researchers, as explained on the National Certification Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine’s official website, found that repeated acupuncture treatment was found to “reduce or eliminate the need for opioids by restoring the balance in key brain regions, altering pain-related attention and memory.” As more people are using this method to reduce their pain, opioids are becoming less critical.
How does acupuncture relieve pain? Harvard Health notes that acupuncture releases endorphins – the body’s natural pain-killing chemicals – and by affecting the region of the brain that manages serotonin, the chemical responsible over our mood. Several treatment sessions may help a person feel more relaxed and experience less pain overall. While more research is being conducted, it’s clear that acupuncture is showing some signs of effective strategies. Perhaps people are finding more holistic, natural ways to help ease their pain without using prescriptions.
If you are considering acupuncture, it is advised that you speak with your doctor first to ensure this would be a good fit for you.
Avalon Malibu is a world-renowned, California state-licensed mental health and substance abuse recovery center. Our licensed, experienced health care professionals will work with you to restore your mind, body, and spirit. We offer acupuncture and a variety of other effective treatment methods. If you are ready to seek treatment, call us today at 888-958-7511 for a consultation.