Maintaining Good Health Even When You're Busy

Acupuncture: Natural Pain Relief

by Caitlin Obara

Chronic pain can reduce your ability to enjoy life, manage your responsibilities, keep up with work, and interact with those around you. Overtime it can become debilitating and overtake your life. Alternative therapies can be used in conjunction with mainstream medicine and offer you additional modalities to pain management. 


Acupuncture has been used for at least 2000 years to relieve pain and treat health related conditions. Using small, thin, and relatively painless needles, acupuncture points on the body are "needled" to help redirect and distribute the "chi" or life energy that runs through the body.  Studies have shown that acupuncture can help relieve chronic pain related to injury and disease. 

In more scientific terms, acupuncture can help redirect blood flow and the body's meridian energy to focus on areas that need increased healing. The process also reduces inflammation and breaks the chronic pain cycle

Acupuncture can take many forms:


Acupressure uses pressure on the body's 2000+ acupuncture points to achieve the same relief as needling does. It can be used when actual acupuncture is not available, by patients themselves (or with help from family or friends), and while traveling through the use of acupressure bands. 

Auricular Acupuncture

Auricular acupuncture focuses on spots on the ear that correspond to other area of the body. Needles used here are often thinner and shorter than those used in other areas, and can even be left in place over longer periods.    

Chinese Acupuncture

Chinese acupuncture is the most common form of acupuncture practiced in the Western world. It focuses on harmony of the body with the belief that finding balance will bring relief from discomfort.

Dry Needling

Dry needling simply refers to the practice of using solid or hollow core needles inserted into the skin for therapeutic purposes. 

Electronic Stimulation Acupuncture

Electro acupuncture adds the addition of a low current electrical current near or through the acupuncture needles. This provides additional stimulation to the area that is being needled and can increase blood and energy flow to areas that need additional healing. 

Japanese Acupuncture

Japanese acupuncture focuses on fewer points, uses less needles, and does not include as much stimulation of the acupuncture points as Chinese acupuncture. 

Korean Acupuncture

Korean acupuncture focuses on reflex points in the hand that correspond to different areas of the body and/or different body dysfunctions. 


Moxibustion involves the burning of mugwort in place of or in addition to the placement of acupuncture needles. Depending on the practitioner, a cone of mugwort is burned directly on the skin, wrapped around the acupuncture needle, or burned near the skin. Using the same idea as simple acupuncture, the heat will draw the body's "chi" to the surface and increase blood flow and healing properties. It is important to remember that there is a risk of blistering with the use of mugwort and it may prove to cause allergic reactions to those with respiratory issues. 

Acupuncture is a natural, non-invasive form of pain management that can be used by patients of all ages. There is little risk of negative side effects and in most cases; acupuncture can be used side-by-side with other forms of treatment. 

For more information, contact a clinic like Kathryn Kornhaus Acupuncture.