The International Association for the Study of Pain (IASP) defines pain as:

An unpleasant sensory and emotional experience associated with, or resembling that associated with, actual or potential tissue damage.

On a scale of 1 to 10, where is your pain at? It is different for all as we all experience pain differently. What is slightly uncomfortable to one person may be excruciating to another. Pain is always a personal experience that is influenced to varying degrees by biological, psychological and social factors. Pain threshold is the minimal level of a stimulus that is perceived as painful, whereas pain tolerance level is the maximum intensity of a pain-producing stimulus that a patient is willing to accept in a given situation. Both are subjective to the person, so when someone reports their experience as pain, I respect their report.

Many seek acupuncture treatment because something hurts. Acupuncture is very good at helping treat pain as it helps the body relax and to release neurotransmitters that can help. It helps to manage the pain, but it doesn’t necessarily cure what is causing the pain response in the body.

In Traditional Chinese medicine from the ancient text, The Yellow Emperor’s Inner Canon, it says this about pain: If there is no free flow, there is pain; if there is free flow, there is no pain.

Acupuncture is all about improving the flow of Qi and Blood in the body, hence it is a good tool for pain management.

But does acupuncture really work? Under the lens of Western medicine, it doesn’t hold up well to the rigors of the scientific method. It does and it doesn’t and not at the levels expected. This is because acupuncture is subjective to each person receiving treatment and can vary by the practitioner as well.

If you do seek treatment for pain with an acupuncturist, ask questions, and if you don’t think the acupuncturist is listening to you, move on to one who does. This is your treatment for your body and it is your right to be informed about the treatment.

As always, if you have questions or concerns, I am here to help.

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