Application of Acupuncture in Pain Management- A Short Guide
Health & Wellness

Application of Acupuncture in Pain Management- A Short Guide

Acupuncture & Pain Management
Written by Anima Sur

Millions of people who experience various chronic pain, acupuncture is no longer an alien curiosity. It’s now extensive recognition among the medical society. And it’s pretty accepted with patients as well. Acupuncture in Pain management is globally accepted today. A recent survey found almost 3.5 million Americans said they’d had undergone acupuncture therapy in the previous year.

Existence of Acupuncture in Pain Management

The antique art of acupuncture has been in practice in Asia for centuries to treat numerous conditions and alleviate pain. Presently accepted in the United States and other Western countries to relieve all from low back pain, to nerve pain to headaches, fibromyalgia, and menstrual cramps — and further

Traditional Chinese technique of acupuncture involves the insertion of enormously fine needles into the skin at precise “acupoints.” This process relieves pain by releasing endorphins, the body’s innate numbing chemicals, and by touching the part of the brain that governs serotonin, a brain chemical concerned with mood.

In Chinese traditional acupuncture, the acupuncturist may turn or twirl the needles slightly or apply heat or electrical stimulation to augment the property. The acupuncturist may also smolder a therapeutic herb near the skin; this is moxibustion.

A Japanese technique of acupuncture involves shallower needle inclusion than in Chinese acupuncture, and usually, manipulation of needles is not there. In the case of Korean acupuncture insertion of needles are to points in just the hands and feet.

Basic Facts on Acupuncture Procedure

The acupuncturist on average inserts 4 to 10 needles and leaves them in place for 10 to 30 minutes while you relax. Duration of treatment includes 6 to 12 sessions over a three-month period.

Acupuncture in Pain Management is generally reasonably safe, and the difficulty rate appears to be quite low. An assessment of acupuncture-related complications reported in medical journals found that the gravest problem was an unintended insertion of a needle into the pleural space between the lungs and the chest wall (but this is rare). The arrival of single-use, sealed needle packages has helped eliminate the risks of blood-borne infections such as hepatitis B or HIV.

Does acupuncture really work to quell pain?

The confirmation is mixed, with some studies showing that acupuncture relieves pain and others showing that it is partial. It’s also probable that acupuncture works for some people and not others.

If you make your mind up to try acupuncture, search for an experienced acupuncturist. Licensing necessities vary from state to state. In states with no licensing requirements, your best bet is to find an acupuncturist with certification from the National Certification Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine (

Various Acupuncture Techniques

  1. Basic needling

Insertion of Needles to a depth of 4–25 mm and left in place for a certain time (from a few seconds to many minutes). There are often 6–12 needles (and sometimes more) inserted at special acupoints at the same time. The feeling as per patients testimonial is a tingling or dull ache at the admission point. Most people say they experience very relaxed or sleepy, and some tale improved energy levels afterward. You can also follow Needling Techniques for Acupuncturists: Basic Principles and Techniques book by Singing Dragon.


electro acupuncture

2. Electroacupuncture (EA)

Application of an insignificant focused electric current to the skin at the acupoints or to the needle itself is the specialty of this method. There are a variety of modalities to think about.

Frequency of stimulation

Study shows evidence of precise endogenous opiate responses

  • Low-range stimulation (1–2 Hz) helps the release of endorphins and enkephalins (Aδ mediated). Less than 1 Hz is ineffectual;
  • Mid-range (12–15 Hz) stimulation effective in the production of all three opioid classes;
  • High-range (100 Hz) consequences in dynorphin release and has no effect on endorphins or enkephalins (Aβ-mediated). There is no further gain in opioid peptide release beyond 200 Hz.

Stimulation Amplitude

Most common range is1 to 3 milliamperes in clinical practice. This intensity a non-painful fasciculation of the muscle is acquired in which the needle is implanted. elevated amplitudes cause pain and give rise to a stress factor. Stress-induced analgesia depends in a piece on diffuse noxious inhibitory control and does not as a rule form a part of acupuncture analgesia.

Stimulation Duration

Minimum 10 min is necessary for the creation of the endorphins, with maximal release after 20 min. On an extension of stimulation beyond 1 hr, or if the stimulation is continual (e.g. 30 min bursts repeated after a 1 h interval),  attenuation in the painkilling effect occurs.


3. Moxibustion

Application of stimulating heat onto the needle over the acupoints. Traditionally, this was with a smoldering herb.


4. Laser acupuncture

In this case, we find an application of a fine low-energy laser beam focusing onto the acupoint.

Application Area of Acupuncture

Application Areas for Acupuncture in Pain Relief

The WHO has recognized over 40 medical situations that may be efficiently treated with acupuncture. Those relating to pain alone are as follows;

Acute sinusitis, rhinitis, tonsillitis. In Neurological disorder, it covers headache, Migrain, Peripheral neuropathies, Post-herpetic neuralgia. Musculoskeletal disorders covers Tennis elbow, Frozen shoulder, Sciatica, Osteoarthritis, Low back pain, Fibromyalgia. Other application areas are Dysmenorrhoea, Atypical chest pain, Labour pain/stimulation of labor, Dental Pain. Under Gastrointestinal disorders, we find application for Acute/chronic gastritis, Chronic duodenal ulcer (pain), Chronic colitis, Pelvic pain.

No content on this site, despite the date, should never be used as a replacement for direct medical advice from your doctor or other competent clinicians.


About the author

Anima Sur

A health Blogger. "Take care of the whole, and the part will take care of itself". This is the essence of Yogic Wellness- keeping the whole being healthy.


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