- New research into acupuncture revealed
- The big problem with alternative therapies and medicines
- How heal your painful joints naturally
Have you ever had acupuncture?
It’s the weirdest thing…
Many years ago, I had regular acupuncture for backache.
The doctor had repeatedly told me there was nothing wrong with me – or, rather, there possibly was, but there was nothing he could do.
I had to stop him writing out another prescription for painkillers.
“NO!” I said. “Not this time”.
I don’t know about you, but I am totally fed up of this obsession with painkillers.
A long time ago I discovered that the strong stuff makes me look like a giant hamster (puffy face!) so I stopped.
Instead I went to an acupuncturist – more out of desperation than anything. She took one look at me and said:
“It’s your posture.”
Right away she could see I was totally misaligned. Apparently my right shoulder was so taught it was yanked up almost to my ear.
“The bells, Esmerelda! The bells!”
Anyway, after a brief chat about the process I lay down on my front and in went the needles.
But it’s not what you’d expect…
Rather than feel like a pin cushion, I felt more like I was a broken tent and someone invisible was pulling at my guy ropes.
And I did feel better, but…
The problem with acupuncture
The trouble is, many people avoid acupuncture because it’s often grouped with “quack” therapies and “unproven” alternative therapies… usually by close minded people who don’t do the research for themselves.
Acupuncture is not unproven though – quite the opposite.
For instance, this very month there’s a report in the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) Journals Library.
It’s about some research by a team of scientist in the US and UK who have been looking at 29 “high quality clinical trials” into acupuncture.
The subjects in these trials included around 18,000 sufferers of chronic pain in the lower back, neck, head, and knee.
What they’ve found is clear evidence that shows acupuncture works ABOVE any placebo effect.
Because this is the big raging argument about alternative therapies.
It is absolutely certain that they can work for many people… whether it’s homeopathy, reflexology, herbal therapy or acupressure…
The problem is that there’s also proof that this is often down to the placebo effect, a very real and powerful phenomenon. The gist of it is, if you believe something will work, then you will experience an effect.
What’s more, the very process of being nurtured, cared for and listened to by someone (rather than a pressured, stressed doctor) also contributes to improved symptoms.
But not all ‘complementary’ or ‘alternative’ therapies are the same.
These terms describe an array of treatments from all over the world – for instant India and ancient China. They’ve undergone different levels of scrutiny and investigation.
In this latest report acupuncture has been shown to lessen the severity of chronic pain – that is on top of the placebo effect. It also helps relieve the symptoms of depression too, which often come hand-in-hand with chronic pain.
And perhaps this is where its true power lies…
In a 2004 study into chronic pain called The Link Between Depression and Physical Symptoms it was shown that “Physical symptoms are common in depression, and, in fact, vague aches and pain are often the presenting symptoms of depression. These symptoms include chronic joint pain, limb pain, back pain…”
So acupuncture works on the body and the mind, with positive results.
Why combined health approaches are best
While acupuncture is now being shown to have a very real effect on pain, it is not a “cure-all”. It works in combination with other treatments and lifestyle changes… and it’s not for everyone.
If you are suffering from knee, neck, back or head pain that’s not being helped by painkillers or conventional treatments, you should definitely try it out.
At the People’s Doctor we believe that combining many natural treatments and lifestyle measures is a good way to combat pain.
Find out what works for you. Be open minded and cynical at the same time. Give things a go and see the effect.
For instance, last week I mentioned Copper therapy gloves
These use gentle pressure to sooth painful hands when it gets cold, helping lock in the body’s natural heat. There’s a 90 day trial to see if they work for you, which is worth trying click here for more details.
Or you can try Pain Ease Wraps, which use microcurrent technology to control joint pain and help the affected joints heal. Click here to find out more.
These are two options you can try alongside acupuncture as well as whole range of measures…
Dietary changes, Pilates, exercise, better sleep…
The only way you can take control over your own health is to arm yourself with knowledge about the options, see what’s available, and give them a go. Keep the therapies that genuinely help you and throw everything else out.
It would be fantastic if everyone did this…
We’ve saved the NHS a fortune
One of the best outcomes from an increasing medical acceptance of many alternative approaches is that it’s helping people take control of their own health… finding means of relieving pain and illness without drugs… and relieving the burden on the state.
This latest acupuncture study concludes that the treatment is extremely cost effective. And no wonder! It requires only some tender care, expertise and a bunch of tiny pins to achieve wonderful results for many people.
For more on mainstream and alternative therapies please do check out what’s new on our website: www.peoplesdoctor.co.uk
Until next time, stay healthy!