Acupuncture has been used to treat pain disorders for over 3000 years. It is an increasingly popular treatment that aims to restore the body’s natural energy flow (also known as Qi).

In Chinese medicine, Qi is considered a vital life force that maintains good overall health and wellbeing. A barrier or blockage in a person’s Qi can lead to ill-health and pain.


Acupuncture is the process of removing these blockages, allowing for Qi to flow again and replenish any damaged areas of the body.

There is a popular phrase in Eastern practise that says “Where there is free flow, there is no pain; where this is no free flow, there is pain.”


Through the insertion of tiny needles on specific points (known as acupoints) acupuncture releases these blockages, enabling free flowing Qi.


There are four primary theories that support the use of acupuncture for pain relief. These are:


Gate Control Theory: Acupuncture triggers the nerve receptors to prevent the transportation of pain signals to the brain in the spinal cord. This assists in stabalizing pain perception.


Autonomic Nervous System Theory: Acupuncture activates the nerves that influence the organ’s physiological functions.


Endogenous Opioid Neuropeptide Theory: Acupuncture influences the brain by promoting the secretion of beta-endorphins. This neuro-chemical controls pain sensations to allow for better healing


Blood Chemistry Theory: Acupuncture changes the blood lipid concentration. This indicates that acupuncture can assist in regulating peripheral blood flow to function at its best.


What Is It For?


Acupuncture can be used to treat the following pain related conditions:


  • Headaches and migraines
  • Tennis elbow
  • Arthritis
  • Lower or upper back pain
  • Whiplash
  • Shoulder pain
  • Fibromyalgia
  • Menstrual pain
  • Sciatica
  • Post herpetic neuralgia
  • Osteoarthritis
  • Cancer pain
  • Tendonitis
  • Joint pain


Other conditions which can be linked to chronic pain can also be treated such as:


  • Insomnia
  • Depression
  • Stress
  • Irritable bowl syndrome
  • Fatigue


What Does The Procedure Involve?


When you attend your first acupuncture session at out Phoenix location, your practitioner will take a medical history and will ascertain the specific reason you’ve sought treatment. You will then be asked to lay down on a comfortable acupuncture table. Whether you lay on your front or your back, and how much clothing you need to remove, is dependent on which area the practitioner needs to work on.


Your Phoenix acupuncture practitioner will carefully select the acupoints required for optimal healing. They will then insert tiny sterile needles into various acupoints around your body. The needles are much smaller than those used to take blood, so you will barely feel them entering your skin (if at all).


They will be left there for a period of time spanning anywhere from 20 to 40 minutes. During this time you will be asked to relax. Your practitioner may turn or flick the needles, but again, this will be painless.

The needles are then removed one by one and are disposed of. You may wish to sit for a few minutes and then will be free to go home.


Sometimes patients report feeling dizzy or tired after a treatment. This is normal and will pass within a day. Around 3% of patients may notice some minor redness to the spots that were treated, but these will heal and fade within a few days.


It is recommended that follow-up appointments are made to ensure that your pain levels are managed in a consistent way.


What Are The Benefits?


There have been numerous recent studies that have supported the effectiveness of acupuncture for pain relief.


A Cochrane systematic review of the effectiveness of acupuncture for chronic migraines and headaches found that there was a direct positive link between acupuncture and the reduction of headache related pain. A recent NCCAM-funded study reported that acupuncture was as or more effective than conventional medicine in reducing chronic back pain.


A major study involving 570 patients found that acupuncture as a treatment for osteoarthritis was beneficial for pain relief and improved mobility.

Not only does acupuncture assist in reducing pain, but can also relieve other symptoms associated with chronic pain, such as insomnia, depression or stress, making it a holistic approach to improving overall health and wellbeing.


If you’d like to hear more about how acupuncture can benefit you, call us now!