Can Acupuncture help my aching back and other pain?

Can Acupuncture help my aching back and other pain?


A national survey found that one in four Americans suffer some sort of pain almost daily. Pain medications have increased to a record 131 million prescriptions in 2012 according to a national survey done by the consulting firm IMS Health, 90% of the people who come to our clinic for acupuncture are suffering some sort of physical or mental/emotional pain which is not responding to medication.

Let’s face it pain gets in the way of life, especially if you are high performing person. It causes frustration and fatigue. Relief is what is wanted. So, we have a nation of people purchasing over the counter pain relief medication and others are addicted to pain killers. Yet, has the pain problem diminished? I would say, judging from the people I work with, the answer is most definitely no!  Because, underneath all that medication are millions of people suffering with pain.

Can acupuncture make a real difference? Is the relief temporary? Is it quick? Can acupuncture help me rid myself of pain once and for all? Can it cure me? Will it change me? These are the questions I hear every day from the people I care for and treat. I want to answer those questions for you.

  • Acupuncture can make a real difference in the reduction and resolution of pain. How? Acupuncture needles are utilized at points along the body’s meridian system, an invisible electro-magnetic circuitry which moves Qi ( the generator of all internal energy and heat) and   Blood (the fluid that bathes our internal organs and provides nourishment to our system) throughout our entire system. The points used, tap into your body’s innate capacity to heal. Acupuncture treatment promotes internal flow of  Qi  and Blood where it may be congested or deficient. Acupuncture can support the reduction of inflammation, and can have an analgesic effect on pain. Ultimately, acupuncture gives you a deep experience of rest and restoration, providing you with an experience of possibility. How can you walk into a treatment room feeling one way and leave feeling better? This first acupuncture treatment is just the beginning.
  • Is the relief temporary? At first, yes it is. You may feel tremendous relief, or just a bit of relief for a few hours, or even a few days after treatment. That is why we recommend a series of regular treatments for 6-10 sessions at first. Remember that you live in your body 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. The 45 minute acupuncture treatment once a week is hardly enough to effect the real change you seek. Our first task is to reduce your pain significantly, over longer and longer periods of time.
  • Is it a quick fix? If you walk into the clinic for a treatment right after an injury, chances are we can get you back on your feet relatively quickly. That is why many athletes, dancers, football and soccer players, Olympic athletes and other high performance people utilize acupuncture regularly to support a quicker recovery from injury. People who receive regular and frequent treatments are able to get back to what they love doing the most. In China and Japan people traditionally receive daily acupuncture treatments for at least 10 days.
  • Can it cure me?  I would like to rephrase that by asking: Can it restore me to health? In many cases it can. In many other cases we will need other therapies and lifestyle changes to effect a deep and lasting cure. Acupuncture treatment is a new and different experience for many people. The process of treatment asks for patience as your body begins to respond and change, engagement in regular treatment, and the spirit of working together so that the treatment can be adjusted to meet your needs. Sometimes the pain we experience has been brewing for a long time due to our lifestyle habits, movement patterns, stress factors. So, it may take some time to unwind the pain to create the long lasting relief and improvement in your health that you seek. In my opinion it is well worth it. A pain free life, without medication ( or with reduced medication), improved energy, and finally much more potential for a happier and healthier you!

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Ellen Goldsmith

Ellen Goldsmith

Ellen Goldsmith is a licensed and nationally board certified acupuncturist and Chinese herbalist. She has been in the field of Asian medicine for the past 30 years, teaching, speaking and working with thousands of people to give them the resources, skills and tools they seek to improve the quality of their health and lives. Ellen is the author of the well respected book, Nutritional Healing with Chinese Medicine: + 175 Recipes for Optimal Health. She is on faculty at the National University of Natural Medicine’s College of Classical Chinese Medicine in Portland, Oregon.

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