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Acupuncture for Back Pain: How it Works

Back pain has a number of causes. Among these are sprains and strains that occur as the result of an injury or poor posture; herniated discs (when the inner part of the cushion between two vertebrae bulges out); or sciatica, pain that results from the irritation of the sciatic nerves.

Traditionally, acupuncture is seen as a method of balancing the body’s life energy, as well as the opposing forces of Yin and Yang (which regulate the organs). When the body has deficient, excessive, or blocked life energy, the body is vulnerable to pain and disorder. An imbalance between Yin and Yang is also seen as the culprit behind many conditions. Acupuncture uses the safe and gentle insertion of very fine needles into specific points to restore harmony within the body for reduced pain and suffering.

Modern-day research has discovered acupuncture’s mechanism of action. This ancient technique instigates a particular set of events within the brain. This reaction causes the release of the body’s own painkilling and healing chemicals, including:

• The body’s natural painkilling analgesic, similar to morphine—Endogenous Opiates;
• Mood-boosting and pain-relieving analgesics—Serotonin, Edorphins, and Acetylcholine; and
• Acupuncture also regulates Cortisol, a stress hormone. Cortisol is sometimes necessary to reduce inflammation and prevent the formation of scar tissue. In other cases, the body produces too much cortisol, which may lead to suppressed immune function and other harmful effects. Acupuncture works to balance these responses.