Acupuncture for Chronic Pain
Chronic Pain and Arthritis
Joseph strives to bring the highest quality acupuncture and Chinese medicine care to his clinic. Through his extensive training and experience he has developed an integrated approach to treating pain from many causes including autoimmune conditions, arthritis, accidents, sports injuries, and repetitive motion injuries from work. He has been in practice for over 15 years and has helped hundreds of patients with chronic pain. Partnering with each patient, he will work with you to create an individualized treatment plan of acupuncture, tui na massage, electric stimulation, cupping, and exercises.
How does Acupuncture address pain?
Acupuncture addresses pain by helping the body heal itself. Acupuncture not only treats symptoms, like taking a painkiller, but also corrects underlying imbalances in the body, thereby, allowing the body to heal itself. This can lead to long term improvement and reduction in pain.
Imbalances are related to the body’s energy, called qi (pronounced chee). Qi travels though channels in the body like water flowing through a winding river. Acupuncture corrects imbalances by stimulating specific points on the acupuncture channels.
Acupuncture research is beginning to show how the treatment works with the body’s own healing mechanisms. Using a type of brain scanner called an fMRI, scientists have shown that acupuncture works with the nervous system to reset the brain when it is stuck in an unhealthy pattern of pain and illness (1). This is a way of reteaching the body to be healthy. Healing also occurs at the place where the needle is inserted. The surrounding tissue actually grabs hold of the needle and expands (2). Some scientists believe this begins the replication and repair of the cells around the needle.
Acupuncture also works to relieve pain by stimulating the release of natural pain relievers, such as opioids, as well as regulating pain relieving opioid receptors. Acupuncture also changes the way the nervous system feels pain, helping to relieve pain for long periods of time.
Acupuncture for Arthritis
Acupuncture works to relieve pain and stiffness of arthritis by stimulating the release of natural pain relievers, such as opioids, as well as regulating pain relieving opioid receptors. In addition, acupuncture has an anti-inflammatory effect, reducing the circulating inflammatory hormones in the blood. Many clinical trials of acupuncture have shown acupuncture to be effective for reducing pain in patients with arthritis (3).
Electroacupuncture works to reduce pain and heal arthritis
Electro-acupuncture is very similar to regular acupuncture. That is the acupuncture point selection is generally the same and the treatment time is also similar. Electro-acupuncture provides additional small amount electric stimulation to the acupuncture needles. The electric stimulation enhances muscle relaxation, the release of natural pain killers in the body, as well as decreases inflammation.
Electro-acupuncture is most often used for chronic pain and inflammatory conditions. The pain relief with electro-acupuncture can be so dramatic it has been used for certain types of surgery in China.
What is a visit like?
During the first visit, we will take your medical history and complete an examination to create your treatment plan. During this visit, you will have an opportunity to ask questions about your condition and you will receive an acupuncture treatment. We may also discuss Chinese herbs and acupressure as an option in your treatment plan.
- Napadow, V. Kettner N., Liu J. Et. al. Hypothalamus and Amygdala Response to Acupuncture Stimuli in Carpel Tunnel Syndrome. Pain. 2007; (130): 254-266.
- Langevin HM, Churchill DL, Wu J. Et. al. Evidence of Connective Tissue Involvement in Acupuncture. FASEB Journal. April 10, 2002. Published Online.
- Berman BM, Lao L, Langenberg P, Lee WL, Gilpin AM, Hochberg MC. Effectiveness of acupuncture as adjunctive therapy in osteoarthritis of the knee: a randomized, controlled trial.Ann Intern Med. 2004 Dec 21;141(12):901-10.
Feedback From our clients…
“I suffered from chronic neck pain for more than 4 yrs before being treated by Joseph Alban. As a registered Yoga teacher, I was looking for a treatment that did not involve a prescription medicine that treated only the symptom rather than the underlying cause of the problem. It was the first time I’d ever tried acupuncture and to my amazement Joe took the time to listen and answer any questions and concerns I had regarding my health. After several treatments I started to see results and after several months I was completely pain free! I highly recommend Alban’s acupuncture to anyone with chronic pain.”
~ M.B., New Jersey