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Can acupuncture provide relief for arthritis?

Acupuncture Provides Non-Medicated Relief for Arthritis

Many patients suffering from arthritis wish to find a solution that does not rely on medication. For some, acupuncture may provide that relief.

Acupuncture, or the process of using disposable stainless steel needles to stimulate the meridians of the body, is an ancient practice that comes from sixteenth century Chinese doctors. These doctors believed that illness and pain could be overcome by stimulating the energy-carrying channels on the body, called meridians, to correct energy imbalances.

Modern acupuncturists and medical doctors believe that the pain relief from acupuncture is due to the fact that the activation points are near major nerves. When activated using the acupuncture needle, these nerves signal the brain to release endorphins. Endorphins block the message of pain from the brain, thus providing relief from the discomfort of arthritis.

It is also possible that the changes are purely psychological. In one study published by the Huffington Post, patients were asked to rate their arthritis pain on a scale using a scale of 0 to 100. The average baseline prior to acupuncture was 60. Those who received acupuncture stated their pain dropped to 30. However, those who received fake acupuncture as a control only reported a drop to 35. Patients treated with medication reported a drop of 43.

Whether because of endorphins or a psychological reaction, acupuncture does provide some measure of pain relief. Those who want to manage their arthritis without strong medications can consider acupuncture as a possible solution.

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Christina Chan