Chronic pain is a long term and often constant level of pain regularly punctuated by sharp increases in discomfort called “pain flares”. But did you know that chronic pain is not a reliable indicator or damage or threat to the body. In other words, if you experience chronic pain, there may be no damage or injury that is causing that pain. For lack of a better way of putting it the pain is “in your head”. The original disease, malfunction or injury that first generated the pain signals, sensitizes the brain or nervous system so that even after your body has healed, you still feel the pain. This is the main reason that western medicine is so ineffective at treating chronic pain. While western medicine excels at treating acute pain, when you use the same methods to treat chronic pain, where there is no injury or malfunction causing the pain, the results are necessarily going to be poor. Fortunately acupuncture and Chinese Herbal Medicine excel at treating chronic pain.
Acupuncture can aid the body in healing chronic pain in several ways. Trigger point therapy or dry needling can release trigger points or “knots” in muscles that contribute to chronic pain. Acupuncture can “retrain” the nervous system and desensitize the body so that it no longer experiences pain. Electro acupuncture can induce the body to release pain modulating endorphins and other substances that will help the body experience less pain and heal. Increases in circulation and stimulation of the immune system also aid in the reduction of pain and healing of the body.
Chronic pain can be healed, and acupuncture can be a powerful tool in this process. Patients do have to keep in mind that it is a process. Over months or even years the body has become accustomed and sensitized to the pain and while acupuncture can help relive this, it takes multiple visits to achieve lasting results or to retrain your nervous system and brain.
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!