Reducing chronic pain with acupuncture: what all over 60 sufferers need to know 77



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How can acupuncture help?

Whatever your ills, western medicine seems to have a prescription drug to ‘fix’ it, but do they really get to the root of the problem? Unfortunately the reality is, every individual presents with their own set of symptoms whether they complain of headaches, low energy or mental illness for example, no one treatment fits all.

Chronic pain sufferers, for instance, may experience any multitude of ailments such as sleep disturbance, poor concentration, depression, anxiety, digestive issues, constipation, difficulty losing weight, dry skin, rashes, or sinus congestion, to name a few. The challenge is to put the pieces of the puzzle together to get a whole health picture and resolution of symptoms rather than mask them with medications that just put a lid on the fire.

Comparing the patterns of pain in the body with the ancient acupuncture channels can unearth undiagnosed health disturbance within. It’s not uncommon to have symptoms concurrently in multiple areas that have a deeper connection, and understanding these connections can provide clues to why pain or illness has not resolved. Do the symptoms follow a particular pattern or are they global suggesting a whole body disease or an inflammatory process?

The oriental medicine practitioner connects patterns of symptoms throughout the whole body that direct them to disturbance in the flow of energy along the acupuncture meridians (channels), the body’s biorhythm or body clock, and their yin/yang balance.

We are a biomechanical factory at a cellular level with positive and negative ions constantly on the move. If they weren’t we’d be dead!

Energy flows throughout the body and from cell to cell along lines of least resistance called meridians. Some follow blood vessels or nerves as they traverse the body.

When injury or illness exists, the normal flow of energy becomes sluggish or stagnates, bodily fluids don’t flow to areas that desperately need it for repair. When we place a metallic acupuncture needle along strategic points on the acupuncture meridians it’s like turning on the electrical circuits and energy starts to flow again. Tissues receive the essential nutrients for repair (assuming a healthy diet), and recovery time can be significantly reduced.

In a nut shell, acupuncture sets up an environment where the body can heal itself. It restores balance.

A skilled acupuncturist can identify the telltale signs on the body that give the clues to underlying imbalance. The pulses are compared at the wrist in six positions from left to right reflecting yin and yang balance in the meridians. Patterns of tension or weakness along the meridians in the arms and legs or on the abdomen provide clues. Skin colour and texture may change, or the quality of the voice may be affected.

It never fails to amaze how these patterns found on the body correlate so well to internal disease or injury.

The gall bladder channel, for instance, is the yang partner of the liver. Symptoms anywhere along the gall bladder meridian that runs down the side of the body from head to foot can reflect disturbance or weakness in its yin partner, the liver. A headache in the temple can relate to a right sided low back ache or leg pain, both being in the gall bladder channel, but in turn, be can be fired up by disturbance in the liver.

Constipation may coincide with painful knots in the forearm along the large intestine channel and mimic a tennis elbow. The master point of the large intestine channel in the web space between thumb and index finger is often tender and can be massaged to ease pain from the forearm to the head or help move the bowel.

The body has the ability to throw out clues to disturbance within but at the same time, have the ability to repair and heal given the opportunity.

An acupuncture treatment should be painless and very relaxing. The healing effect of the needles often induces restorative sleep. Home self-massage of the acupuncture channels and points can support the effects between treatments, invigorate energy, release stress, improve sleep and promote healing. You are never too old to benefit.


What can acupuncture effectively treat?

The possibilities are endless. The ancients successfully treated many ailments before the intervention of pharmaceutical drugs but here are some conditions I treat on a regular basis:

  • Headache
  • Chronic pain or arthritis
  • Frozen shoulder
  • Low energy
  • Constipation or diarrhea
  • Asthma or shortness of breath
  • Sinus congestion
  • Digestive issues
  • Anxiety and depression
  • Insomnia


Have you tried acupuncture? What results did you see? What did you use it for? Tell us below.

Verona Chadwick

Accomplished Physiotherapist, Acupuncturist, Nutritionist, and author of ‘How to Live a Life Without Pain’ Verona Chadwick seamlessly weaves together traditional and contemporary treatment protocols, focusing her attention on elevating the health states of those anchored down by spinal, muscle and joint injuries. Verona is a successful business woman and healer with nearly 30 years of private practice experience. She holds Graduate diplomas in Musculoskeletal Physiotherapy and Nutrition Medicine, and has completed advanced Toyohari Japanese acupuncture training. She is a Diplomat of the Anti-Aging Medicine Associations in Australia and America, and dynamic member of the Musculoskeletal Physiotherapists Association. Verona has helped to herald a time of healing for thousands of people suffering with chronic pain and illness through hands-on physiotherapy, acupuncture and dietary awareness. Verona lives and works in Lismore, New South Wales, Australia

  1. Another way is to try to finda Bowen Therapy centre, which to my mind does much the same without needles.

    2 REPLY
    • I don’t like needles either as a matter of I hate needles of any sort I do have the flu vaccine but I don’t know whether it works or not

      1 REPLY
      • I think you’d probably know if it didn’t work, Maureen. As long as you don’t catch flu’ it probably is.

  2. Works very well, but get a good practitioner. Like everything there are good and not-so-good. I have chronic neck problems and find i have about 6 treatments then give it a rest for a few months then return for more. If the needles hurt – go somewhere else!

  3. I’ve been having this treatment for the last 2 months. I’ve been very happy with the results. Better than having cortisone needles in my spine.

  4. What the article fails to mention is that acupuncture can have side effects. It gives me heart palpitations so is therefore an inappropriate treatment for me.

    1 REPLY
    • HI Patricia, sorry to be late with my reply. If you are getting a racing pulse or heart palpitations with acupuncture the practitioner is likely over treating you or selecting the incorrect treatment. A good practitioner should check the pulse with every point application and should never leave needles in if an adverse effect occurs.

  5. I recently tore my rotator cuff and the physio suggested what he referred to as ‘dry needling’. I was extremely sceptical but he was persistent and persuasive, (not to mention rather gorgeous!!!) so I consented and was surprised and delighted with the result, and, most importantly, it didn’t hurt at all.

    2 REPLY
    • Hi Pam I also had the dry needling and while it can hurt at times its well worth it made me feel much better unfortunately the pain does return but seems to relax the muscle cheers

  6. I had this treatment for months in my early 30’s, my GP recommended it after a horse riding accident in Sydney. A year later I moved to Perth and had a new GP who sent me for x-rays worried about my spine. I had three fractured vertebrae, two had knitted themselves back together, badly, the other was on its way. It was too late for surgery and I have had terrible pain ever since. I would ALWAYS ask for a second opinion if in any doubts.

  7. Has worked for me for numerous complaints….but like conventional medicine has varying results for different people.

  8. I have had acupuncture, I never knew about side effects, I had several treatments, there were problems solved that were not being treated. I would recommend it, but then I was lucky with the person who was giving the treatment

  9. I have had it done. Brilliant. Someone i have known for 35 years Chinese trained. Never had a problem.

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