LAFAYETTE, La. (KLFY) – Chronic pain affects millions of Americans, with many turning to opioids.
However, some patients are turning to alternative medicine, like acupuncture, to get some relief.
Needles in the skin may not sound relaxing, but some patients swear by it.
“My first acupuncture treatment was about a year ago. I have some neck tension and a little back pain and so i had the treatment done and it’s absolutely phenomenal,” said Judy Humble, acupuncture patient.
Acupuncturists place needles in specific areas of the body, depending on the patient’s needs.
According to a new study in the Journal of Pain, researchers found acupuncture to actually be effective for treating chronic pain.
“Different parts of the body can influence different regions of the body,” said Stewart Sommers, acupuncturist and owner of Modern Acupuncture in Lafayette.
“We’re doing points below the elbow down to the hands and from the knees down to the feet. This allows us to treat the entire body without having to have access to the entire body,” said Dewaynia Wilson, acupuncturist.
Acupuncturists go through a master’s degree program and are certified and licensed professionals.
Acupuncture has been around for thousands of years and it can help with a number of bodily functions.
“That tiny sensation helps the body to release stress, lower anxiety and also improve sleep,” Wilson said.
“There are some conditions that can be treated by different points in the body to influence, for instance, the digestive system, circulatory system, immune system,” Sommers said.
Once the needles are in, the folks at Modern Acupuncture in Lafayette allow the patients to sit back and relax for about 20 minutes.
“You notice some relief right then, right when you get the treatment. I went back a second day and had it again because it felt so good. With the longevity of having a continually you do notice that it diminishes,” Humble said.
Despite acupuncture’s popularity, not all scientists agree with the effectiveness of the practice, often stating there is not enough evidence.
However for some patients, they say it works because their chronic pain is gone.
“It’s one of the best things that you can do. It goes right up there with a massage. It ranks up there as being just as relaxing as a massage,” Humble said.