How Acupuncture Can Combat the Opioid Crisis 

 October 21, 2016

By  Steve Hoffman

Pain medications are sometimes necessary. Things like broken bones, recovery from surgery and acute injuries often require some intervention to allow a person to rest and heal. Addiction to opioids mainly occurs in two ways when people use them to treat painful conditions. One is when a person uses the medications for a short time and becomes addicted quickly. The other is when someone uses these medications to treat a chronic condition. This is a more common pathway to becoming addicted because the person is using the medication long term and the medication is not doing anything to actually heal the problem. In fact, it opens the person up to the very real possibility that they may be doing things to aggravate the problem because they cannot feel the pain signals that the body is sending! I think it also gives tacit approval for people to do nothing to fix the problem. Pain is a signal from the body that something is wrong. If you have a broken leg, your body forces you to keep that limb immobilized and not bear weight on it while your body heals. For some reason, with other types of pain such as back pain or from an injury that continues to be painful, we see this pain as something we have to get rid of rather than fixing the problem.

This recent article explores acupunctures main benefit in combating opioid addiction as treating the root of the problem, the pain. After all, if there was a safe, effective way of dealing with pain, people would not need the medications in the first place. Oh wait, there is! Acupuncture not only induces the body to release pain relieving endorphins, but also increases blood flow to help the body actually heal the problem. Acupuncture is not a cure all, often exercise, physical therapy and even lifestyle modifications are required to allow a person to fully heal and receive the pain long term. But really, what is the alternative? Using opioids to mask the pain until a person becomes addicted while never actually treating the problem? No thanks.

Opioids, like all medications, should be used on a short term basis, allowing the person to heal without the discomfort of the injury. The problem for western medicine is that if an injury or painful condition does not heal, there is often not much to offer except continued use of the medications.

If you are dealing with pain or an injury, contact us today and book a Pain Relief Assessment (you can book online see below). It takes between 15 minutes and a half hour and we can tell you if acupuncture is a good fit for your problem. Don’t wait and suffer another day!

Princeton Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine

Our patients know just how effective treatments are for these and a host of other problems. Steven Hoffman, a New Jersey Licensed Acupuncturist and Diplomate in Oriental Medicine, will provide you with a thorough intake and evaluation and a clear, comprehensive diagnosis and treatment plan that will insure that your goals are met or exceeded. Do you want to move past these or other problems? We will help you thrive not just survive!

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