Persistent or chronic pain is a universal problem estimated to affect around 8 million people of all ages in the UK (Chronic Pain Policy 2010). The International Association for the Study of Pain has defined pain "as an unpleasant sensory or emotional experience resulting from actual or potential tissue damage". Chronic pain is pain that lasts longer than the expected time of healing, in some cases it may continue indefinitely.
There are so many chronic pain conditions that afflict patients, including:
It is thought that acupuncture works to stimulate the nervous system and cause the release of neurochemical messenger molecules. The resulting biochemical changes influence the body's homeostatic mechanisms, thus promoting physical and emotional well-being. Stimulation of certain acupuncture points has been shown to affect areas of the brain that are known to reduce sensitivity to pain and stress, as well as promoting relaxation and deactivating the 'analytical' brain, which is responsible for anxiety (Dhond et al, 2007) Acupuncture can help to alleviate chronic pain by stimulating nerves located in muscles and other tissues, which leads to release of endorphins (e.g. serotonin), and changes the processing of pain in the brain and spinal cord. It may improve muscle stiffness and joint mobility by increasing local circulation. For most cases of pain, it is an over-action of the inflammatory process that can lead to chronic pain, studies have shown that acupuncture can reduce inflammation by promoting release of vascular and immunomodulatory factors ( Kavoussi et al, 2007).
Most patients that come to see us for pain related issues see an improvement in their pain, For many the it may go completely, and for others it is about managing it and keeping it at bay. Our aim is to improve quality of life, and where possible reduce the amount of painkillers required.
"I've been going to Rachel for nearly a year now about a foot pain that I thought would never go away. She has worked so carefully with me and the sessions have really managed a lot of the pain, so much that it's almost gone. I really enjoy going, after being a bit nervous at first having never had acupuncture but now I love it. 5 stars all the way" ~ Brittany