Can Acupuncture Prevent Pain?
Can acupuncture prevent pain? Over the last couple of months I’ve written two blogs about why I think it’s important for us to try to avoid getting to the point where we need medication to deal with discomfort, and my final article looks at pain prevention.
We’ve probably all heard the old saying that prevention is better than cure, and it’s true. The problem is that we’re not always very good at taking the steps we need to help us avoid the aches, pains and common illnesses that many of us experience in life.
We wouldn’t dream of going out without a coat in the depths of winter, yet simple steps – such as adding in vitamin supplements to our daily diet – seems to be something that’s hard to make part of our daily routine.
In many cases, pain is also something that we can avoid if we just take the time to look after ourselves in a more organised and structured way.
The problem is that if we don’t take care to manage our body and the demands we make on it, it’s easy to suddenly be in a position where we’re in acute pain and we’re forced to see a doctor to resolve it.
I don’t want to be overly critical of GPs or the medical community – we all know they do a tremendous job in often very difficult circumstances – but clinical reliance on medication as a first stop for pain management is very much a reality in our society today.
I don’t want this to be misunderstood, so let me be clear: there are circumstances when pain medication is the only option to be able to manage symptoms while the root cause of a problem is investigated.
However, and as I’ve discussed at length over the last couple of months, drugs simply mask the problem rather than curing it.
There are a number of issues related to using medication as a standard approach to treating painful musculoskeletal conditions.
Covering up the problem is one of them, but others include the likelihood of the body building resistance to the effects of that medication, meaning increasingly larger doses are required to achieve the same effect; the physical and emotional impairment that some strong drugs can have; and the additional damage that can be caused because pain meds can persuade a person that they’re physically more capable than they really are.
Prevention is an important tool in not only staying generally fitter and healthier, but also in avoiding the negative emotional and physical effects drugs can have – and acupuncture can be a brilliantly effective way of keeping pain at bay.
There’s no rocket science involved in this: just as you build stamina and fitness if you take sensible exercise, so acupuncture can help to align and maintain the body’s natural energy and remove the blockages in energy flow that lead to any number of emotional and physical symptoms.
The power of acupuncture for pain relief is well documented, because it is an holistic therapy that treats the whole body. Very often the cause of the pain we experience is located somewhere else in the body.
If you have a headache, that could be because you have an issue with your neck or your hip or even your foot. If your right hip hurts, it could be because you have a problem with your left knee.
Because acupuncture isn’t a topically-located treatment, it’s not distracted by where your pain is – it concentrates on freeing your body of all the inhibitors that could be generating your painful symptoms.
Used as a complementary approach to physiotherapy or massage, healthy living and regular exercise, acupuncture can be a secret weapon in stopping your pain before it even arrives.
But … just as one vitamin a week will make precious little difference to your health, so an acupuncture session once in a blue moon is unlikely to make any material difference to your ongoing fitness.
Regular acupuncture sessions for pain prevention don’t necessarily need to be frequent – to get the benefits of this amazing ancient therapy simply requires you to make a commitment to taking your health seriously.
If you’re prone to pain and you know that you could be doing more to look after yourself, why not get in touch for a chat about how acupuncture can help to prevent pain – and at the same time help you to feel better generally.