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How Acupuncture Eases Pain

August 9, 2021

A man rub his aching back.

If you’re battling some sort of physical discomfort almost every day, you’re not alone. Nearly one in every five U.S. adults lives with chronic pain, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. And while pain can’t always be cured, it can be managed.

Acupuncture practitioners at the Chambers Center for Well-Being use acupuncture to help ease discomfort associated with back, neck, shoulder, hip or ear pain, headaches and migraines, carpal tunnel syndrome, injury recovery and many other conditions.

“I’ve treated some patients who come to us liming and in severe pain, and they leave very happy,” says Amy Gonzalez, a licensed acupuncturist at the Chambers Center. “They’re amazed at how well acupuncture works for pain they’ve had for years.”

Acupuncture is the practice of using sterile, fine-tipped needles to unblock negative energies in your body’s pathways, which practitioners call meridians. “For people with chronic pain, we do an exam to find out which meridian is affected,” Gonzalez says. “Then, we select strategic points in the body to clear the meridian, remove the blockage and restore energy allowing the body to heal itself.”

I’ve treated some patients who come to us limping and in severe pain, and they leave very happy. They’re amazed at how well acupuncture works for pain they’ve had for years.

Amy Gonzalez, licensed acupuncturist with the Chambers Center for Well-Being

During pain management treatments, practitioners don’t insert needles into areas where the pain lives. Instead, they use distal points — sites located away from the affected area. For example, someone receiving acupuncture to relieve neck pain may benefit from needles inserted at distal points in their hands or feet.

“When we place needles into the skin, they go into tiny cells called mast cells, which are like water balloons,” says Bernard Chan, a licensed acupuncturist at the Chambers Center. “When the needle goes in, the mast cells burst open and deregulate, which releases biochemicals. Some of those biochemicals attach themselves to nerve endings, which travel into the brain and trigger signals that increase blood flow and healing to areas needing pain relief.” 

Reopening blocked meridians through acupuncture also helps relax the muscle tension that lies at the center of many people’s pain. “Our bodies have a holding pattern a lot of us don’t even recognize,” Chan says. “For example, if you’re anxious in heavy traffic, your shoulders, diaphragm and back might tense up—and you might not notice it. That extensive tension can trigger pain.” Recurrent acupuncture therapy, alone or together with other treatments, can help reset your body’s pain response and bring you relief.

The team at the Chambers Center delivers acupuncture services in a spa-like environment. We offer initial consultations, single acupuncture treatments and bundled treatments.

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