Following on from my Winter blog, in the coming weeks I want to take a closer look at some of the conditions that are commonly associated with a Kidney/Water element imbalance.
This week I look at Lower Back Pain and how Acupuncture can help.
Suffering with Lower Back Pain costs money!
As a leading cause of disability and one of the main reasons for work-related sickness, lower back pain is estimated to cost the UK economy over £12 billion per year.
In the UK the condition is responsible for 37% of all chronic pain in men and 44% in women. In a bid to cope with the condition, a study by the British Acupuncture Council reveals that 74% of people use painkillers as a quick fix to relieve discomfort.
Painkillers often mask the problem and don’t address many of the underlying causes of lower back pain. With traditional acupuncture I look at the root of the condition as well as the symptoms in order to try and promote longer term health and wellbeing. Many of my patients find acupuncture extremely beneficial.
With 2.3 million acupuncture treatments carried out each year, traditional acupuncture is one of the most popular complementary therapies practised in the UK today. Based on ancient principles which go back nearly two thousand years, acupuncture involves gently placing extremely fine, sterile needles at specific points on the body to trigger a healing response.
Back Pain according to Chinese Medicine
The Kidneys, mainly due to their location, are linked to lower back pain. But because of the meridians that run through them, the Kidneys are also related to problems with the knees and heels. To understand this relationship, I need to explain a little about the Kidneys and their function.
The Kidneys store our Essence (Jing), which is the root of our vital energy (Qi) and so are buried deep within us so they are protected. The Kidneys are considered to be the most Yin of all our organs. However, as we age our Yin diminishes; the water within us slowly dries up leaving the mind and body less flexible. And just like a stagnant puddle, when water is constrained and cannot move, toxins develop which affect everything else. This is natural, of course, as we must all age. But in our modern lives this depletion of energy is often accelerated by doing too much, eating poorly and stress!
Here are 10 ways Traditional Acupuncture can help with Lower Back Pain.
Talk about it
Don’t live with pain, have it treated! If you’re not happy with your current situation or diagnosis get another opinion. I will be happy to discuss your problem and help you understand whether acupuncture can help you, before you commit to having any treatment.
Tailored for you
Traditional acupuncture is an effective therapy that treats the whole person. This means each patient is treated as a unique individual so the acupuncture points chosen for one person with lower back pain may be different for another person with the same symptoms. This bespoke style is one of the key reasons traditional acupuncture is so effective as it’s not a one-size fits all approach.
Contrary to popular belief, traditional acupuncture is an incredibly relaxing experience. Some people of course will be naturally wary of the needles but they’re sterile and the same width as a human hair so they’re extremely fine! As a member of the British Acupuncture Council I can guarantee a high standard of safety and care.
Natural pain relief
By stimulating nerves located in muscles and other tissues, traditional acupuncture helps release “happy” hormones including endorphins and oxytocin, which are the body’s own natural pain-relieving hormones. These hormones can change the way the body processes pain, helping to reduce discomfort and distress.
Traditional acupuncture has also been shown to reduce inflammation and swelling by stimulating blood flow to the affected area and dispersing excess fluids to promote healing and aid recovery.
Get moving again!
Many patients find that even after one session of traditional acupuncture their movement and mobility will be improved and their muscles don’t feel as stiff. The number of sessions needed will depend on each individual and whether their pain is chronic or not. I will put together a bespoke treatment plan during your initial consultation.
Many back pain sufferers are sick and tired of being continuously on medication (understandably!). Traditional acupuncture can potentially reduce the need for the long-term use of medications without the side effects often attributed to some pharmaceutical drugs.
The holistic approach of traditional acupuncture means that the whole person is treated, both body and mind. These two are often linked, especially when there is chronic pain. Once a patient has started to feel the benefit of treatment, the therapy can often restore a feeling of hope and positivity.
A 2006 study published in the British Medical Journal (BMJ) showed that a short course of acupuncture compared with usual treatment was cost-effective in the long term for persistent lower back pain. Those given acupuncture recorded higher levels of satisfaction and fewer complaints than patients treated with conventional medicines, which included painkillers and anti-inflammatories.
Finally, if you’re reliant on your painkilling tablets you’ll be pleased to hear traditional acupuncture works just as effectively alongside modern medication. In fact it can even speed up the recovery process. Be sure to consult with your GP before undertaking numerous treatment plans.
If you would like to know more about Lower Back Pain and Acupuncture, you can find more information here: https://stevecosteracupuncture.co.uk/back-pain-relief/