Pain & Injuries
"Compared to opioids, acupuncture is more effective and much safer for pain"
- Mel Hopper Koppelman, Evidence Based Acupuncture, 2017
How does acupuncture treat pain? As Chinese Medicine addresses the person as a whole, your session will look at the site of pain as well as look to identify the origin of it. Studies show acupuncture directly affects the nervous system, including spinal reflexes that stimulate muscle relaxation and changes in visceral organs.
Acupuncture can help pain by:
providing pain relief (Pomeranz 1987; Zhao 2008)
reducing inflammation (Kim 2008, Kavoussi 2007;Zijlstra 2003)
improving muscle stiffness and joint mobility by increasing local microcirculation (Komori 2009), which aids dispersal of swelling and bruising.
reducing the use of medication for back complaints (Thomas 2006)
providing a more cost-effective treatment over a longer period of time (Radcliffe 2006;Witt 2006)
improving the outcome when added to conventional treatments such as rehabilitation exercises (Ammendolia 2008; Yuan 2008)
I've struggled with pain from an old knee injury for years, but Vanessa's treatments have been an absolute saviour. Without a doubt, nothing has been more effective in relieving my pain and supporting my return to 'normal life' from injury.
How long will it take? Some patients respond very quickly to acupuncture and will feel a vast difference as soon as they hop off the treatment couch. More chronic conditions often take longer to see improvement and need ongoing maintenance long term.
On the whole I recommend allowing at least 2-3 weekly sessions for the acupuncture to initially take hold and then discussing spacing appointments out so the body feels supported while healing. Pain related studies show that acupuncture can still be effective a year later, whereas if you stopped taking painkillers, you wouldn’t expect them to keep on working.
The Research… Nice (National Institute for Health and Care Excellence) recommends acupuncture for chronic pain and in 2009 recommended that acupuncture should be made available on the NHS as a cost-effective short-term treatment for the management of early, persistent non-specific lower back pain.