Neck pain is one of the most commonly reported ailments of the musculoskeletal system. In some cases, neck pain develops slowly as the result of routine activities (such as sitting behind a computer every day) that can damage the neck spine. When the spine’s position is compromised because of obesity issues, or because of age-related degenerative disorders, neck pain is again a possibility.
In other cases, acute neck pain episodes occur when the neck has experienced some sort of abrupt trauma. A good example of an acute neck injury is whiplash that results from an auto accident or other incident.
Acupuncture is a practice of Chinese medicine, and is based on the concept of ‘Qi,’ or life energy, which flows throughout the body on channels known as meridians. Meridians are a series of interconnected acupuncture points, each of which relates to a different organ or system of organs. When the body is healthy and pain-free, Qi flows throughout the meridians undisturbed.
A disturbance in Qi’s natural flow can result in pain or illness. Acupuncture works by stimulating specific points along the meridians in order to rebalance the flow of Qi, restore health, and ease pain.
As an increasing body of evidence proves the effectiveness of acupuncture, the Western medical world has begun to embrace the ancient technique. In fact, the World Health Organization lists neck pain as a, “Disease, symptom, or condition for which acupuncture has been proved—through controlled trials—to be an effective treatment.”
Acupuncture is particularly suited for the treatment of pain disorders because the stimulation of certain points on the body helps with the release of naturally occurring opiate-like chemicals. In other words, the body is perfectly capable of treating pain without the use of prescribed or over-the-counter pain medications.
Using acupuncture to relieve neck pain also inhibits the stimulation of nerve signals that cause pain. This occurs when acupuncture increases levels of serotonin, which interrupt pain signals before they can reach the brain.