How I use acupuncture in pain treatment
I love acupuncture! It’s a great method for treating a huge variety of illnesses and problems. Yet acupuncture is not my initial treatment method for pain. Even though it can be used on its own, in practice I found that the ‘LNB pain therapy’ with its osteo pressure points is much more effective. Still acupuncture becomes a very helpful tool when other treatments like manual treatments (LNB pain therapy, osteopathy, chiropractics) or drugs don’t work as expected. Pain might, for example, come back immediately after initially successful LNB pain treatment, despite the recommended stretching exercises. In this case there might be a specific underlying condition preventing the body from healing.
We call these conditions foci. A focus can be a scar, a dental abscess, a (chronic) sinus infection, heavy metal poisoning or any kind of radiation (i.e. electricity next to your sleeping place).
With the type of ear acupuncture I use (for more information also see further below), these can be detected and dealt with.
Classical Chinese body acupuncture has established itself as part of the TCM, (Traditional Chinese Medicine) developed over the past 2,000 years. Its goal is to influence the life energy (qi) with needles to create a balance in the meridian system so it flows freely again.
Acupuncture has multiple physiological effects, such as the local release of endogenous biochemicals, like hormones which also reach the bloodstream and the activation of the peripheral and central nervous system. This is how it influences the body as well as the psyche.
In 2003 World Health Organisation published a report about clinical trials researching the effectiveness of acupuncture. Diseases, symptoms or conditions for which acupuncture has proven an effective treatment in clinical trials include:
adverse reactions to radiotherapy and/or chemotherapy, allergic rhinitis (including hay fever), biliary colic, depression (including depressive neurosis and depression following stroke), acute bacillary dysentery, primary dysmenorrhoea, acute epigastralgia (in peptic ulcer, acute and chronic gastritis, and gastrospasm), facial pain (including craniomandibular disorders), headache, hypertension, hypotension, knee pain, lower back pain, neck pain, dental pain, postoperative pain, periarthritis of shoulder, renal colic, rheumatoid arthritis, sciatica, sprain, tennis elbow, leucopenia, morning sickness, nausea and vomiting and stroke.
For many more symptoms and diseases an effect has been shown in individual controlled trials but further investigation is required.
Acupuncture is generally free of side effects because it acts soley through the activation of endogenous mechanisms, that is to say the activation of the body’s internal healing mechanisms contained within the body itself. And it can be combined with any other therapies, such as medication, chemotherapy and orthomolecular therapy.
An initial, transient aggravation of symptoms is possible, but rare.
Depending on the underlying condition an average of one treatment per week is typical and typically there is improvement after 1-5 sessions.
I only use sterile disposable needles. Children can be treated with pain-free stimulation of acupuncture points with a medical laser, as an alternative to needles.
Ear acupuncture has been a traditional method of ancient Chinese medicine and thus a branch of acupuncture. The relationship between the ear and the internal organs was (“inner principles/Internal Medicine of Huang Di”) described more than 2,000 years ago in the “Huang Di Nei Jing” where it says: “The ear is the place where all meridians meet!”
Ear acupuncture had gradually become neglected in China until it almost fell into obscurity. But, then, in the 1950s, it was rediscovered and developed by the French physician Dr Paul Nogier. He is considered to be the father of European auricular acupuncture.
The remarkable thing is that a counterpart for every acupuncture point on the body can be found on the ear. Not only that, but psychological, hormonal or nervous functions can be influenced using acupuncture points on the ear.
I work with special ear acupuncture needles, small metal pins about a millimetre long, which can stay in the ear for up to a week giving them more time to work.
Alternatively, for those with a dislike of needles, I can also use ear acupuncture seeds or a medical laser.
There are very seldom any side effects, only a mild inflammation which typically soon disappears.
The auricular medicine is a further development of ear acupuncture, and works with reflexes auriculo-cardiac (RAC). This 1968 discovery by Dr Nogier is a palpable pulse wave shift, which is caused by micro-stress, such as the electrical stimulation of an acupuncture point. The experienced therapist can use this information for diagnostic and therapeutic purposes.
The most important applications I use this method for are:
- The correct detection of appropriate acupuncture points according to the patient’s particular needs.
- The discovery and elimination of foci (see above) such as scars, abscesses of the paranasal sinuses or teeth, as well as heavy metal pollution by amalgamate. Disturbance of foci can lead to a condition which can be compared to a collapse of the control panel of the unconscious nervous system, so that therapies such as acupuncture, manual therapies or even medication are not effective until the focal disturbance has been eliminated.
So, if you have symptoms that cannot be influenced by proven therapies, a focal disturbance could be the cause.
With auricular medicine foci can be quickly detected before they cause major problems.
In relation to pain treatment the detection of foci can be essential for the long term success of the treatment.
- testing for toxins, allergens, food intolerances