Acupuncture pain relief

Acupuncture Provides True Pain Relief in Study –

“In conclusion, we found acupuncture to be superior to both no-acupuncture control and sham acupuncture for the treatment of chronic pain.”


Acupuncture Provides True Pain Relief in Study –

Meta-Analysis Cited

Acupuncture for Chronic Pain, Individual Patient Data Meta-analysis

Key Points

  • True acupuncture outperformed sham acupuncture and no-acupuncture controls in the treatment of chronic:
    • back pain
    • neck pain
    • osteoarthritis
    • headache
    • shoulder pain.
  • In studying 29 randomized controlled trials of roughly 1800 patients, researchers concluded that the pain relief found from acupuncture treatment is more than just placebo effect.
  • “Acupuncture is effective for the treatment of chronic pain and is therefore a reasonable referral option.”

Not all acupuncture is the same

Aiguille d acupuncture avec regle.dsc02265.untilted+cropped+WB Most people don’t know there are many different types of acupuncture: Traditional Chinese Medicine, Japanese, Korean, 5-Element, Classical, trigger point and more. The technique between these practices can be very, very different. Differences may include:

  • Number of needles: Typically a practitioner will use no more than 8 in a treatment on the conservative end to over 30 in a single session.
  • Size of needles: On the finer end, a practitioner might use a needle .16mm in width, going up to about .30mm (still about a third the width of a sewing needle).
  • Needle retention: Needles can be left in for only a matter of seconds, or up to 45 minutes or longer.
  • Needle placement/location: Some practices will have preferences for distal points, local points, hands-only points, ear-only points, etc. Needle placement doesn’t have to be the same for two practitioners to both get great results from treatment.
  • Qi response: Some practitioners will want a strong “qi response” (think: zinger!) while others will just watch for changes in your breathing.

So, if you think you’ve tried acupuncture, I’d encourage you to consider the breadth of the practice. Don’t give up until you find the right match for you and your condition!

More on Acupuncture and Pain Relief

Chinese Herbs & Supplements

Chinese Poppy Plant, Corydalis, Works For Chronic Pain (Article/Study)


Chinese Poppy Plant, Corydalis, Works For Chronic Pain (Article):

“They found that dehydrocorybulbine (DHCB), an agent isolated from the root of the plant [long used in traditional Chinese medicine, Corydalis], had a positive effect on the three primary types of human pain — acute, inflammatory, and chronic/neuropathic pain. ‘We landed on DHCB but rapidly found that it acts not through the morphine receptor but through other receptors, in particular one that binds dopamine,’ Civelli explained.”

Corydalis, or Yan Hu Suo to us Chinese herbalists, is one of our most commonly used medicinals to treat pain, move qi and blood. While it’s encouraging to see Western medicine catching up to us, actively studying our Chinese herbs to discover “new endogenous transmitters and hormones,” it’s unfortunate more people don’t realize: You don’t have to wait for science to know why Corydalis works, to know if Yan Hu Suo might help you now.

Are all pain-management herbs the same? Thankfully, no; because not all pain is the same. In Chinese medicine, we see pain manifesting from a number of etiologies: deficiency, stagnation, damp, cold, heat, etc. Depending on the symptoms and signs, a Chinese herbalist would tailor a formula not only based on constitutional concerns, but environmental factors, dietary considerations, spiritual/emotional development and behavioral patterns. So while three individuals may come in complaining of knee pain, they likely will receive three very different treatment plans.

If you need help managing chronic pain, consider making an appointment to assess what lifestyle changes you could be making, herbs you could be taking, and further resources that are available to you as you go forward!