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Can electroacupuncture help with chronic pain?

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If you suffer from chronic pain and not finding relief with current therapy or would like to avoid taking prescription drugs, we got the solution! Read more below on how we can help!

Sciatica and chronic pain relief

Can Electroacupuncture help with chronic pain?

Chronic pain is one of the top reasons people go to the doctor. It is estimated that 116 million Americans report chronic pain and seek help. It is common practice for opioids to be recommended and prescribed for chronic pain suffers and the prescription rate has continued to climb. The prescriptions of opioids have increased by 7.3% from 2007-2012.

Ideally, opioids are prescribed after the patient has been shown that alternative treatments did not work, the pain is affecting their ability to function, and the benefits of opioids outweigh the potential harm. However, as of recent the dispensing of opioids is on the rise and is leading to abuse and overdose.

More natural safe and effective options

Enough is enough. Let’s discuss the elephant in the room. What is the most cost-effective, safe, and effective treatment to curb the use and prescription of opioids to manage chronic pain?

You may have guessed it…Acupuncture

Electroacupuncture and chronic pain

What does the research say about electroacupuncture and chronic pain?

A 2017 study from researchers at the Indiana University School of Medicine helps to show how electroacupuncture can stimulate tissue repair after an injury and relieve pain through a specific neurological mechanism. Over 40 scientists at research institutions in the United States and South Korea collaborated on the study. Through a series of tests, first on horses and then humans, the final study offers the most comprehensive view yet of how electroacupuncture stimulates the release of stem cells, special cells that develop into a variety of kinds of cells and repair cells.

The first uses of electroacupuncture are attributed to a Chinese doctor, Tang She-cheng, in 1934. In the West, the term is attributed to Dr. Roger la Fuye of France in 1947.

Basics of electroacupuncture for chronic pain

Electroacupuncture uses the same principles as acupuncture, which involves inserting fine, sterile needles at specific points on the body. In electroacupuncture, however, practitioners add a small electrical current to the inserted needles, rather than simply stimulating the points by tapping or gently twisting the needles as they’re inserted.

Through brain MRIs, this research showed electroacupuncture activates the hypothalamus – a part of the brain responsible for controlling the nervous system and subconscious functions like the heart rate. Electrical stimuli from the needles reached the brain of the subjects within nine to 22 minutes, depending on the species. From there, reparative stem cells, called mesenchymal stem cells, were released into the bloodstream within two hours. These cells can differentiate into bone, cartilage and muscle cells, among others, aiding in repairing injured areas of the body. In order to access this response, researchers administered the electroacupuncture at specific acupoints related to the immune system.

The study found increases in a type of collagen that promotes tendon repair, which contributes to research looking to better understand stem cells. The collagen also produces anti-inflammatory cells known to be predictors of faster healing time.

If you suffer from chronic pain, please give our office a call today, (425) 686-4498 to see how we can help!

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Dr. Ellie Heintze, ND, LAc, is a naturopathic doctor and acupuncturist in Bothell, WA at her practice Starting Point Acupuncture. She is a pain specialist, seeing people who suffer from chronic pain, migraines, as well as digestive issues. Offering pain relief injections, acupuncture, facial rejuvenation, and nutrition consults. Most insurances accepted. Dr. Ellie Heintze is also the author of the book, A Starting Point Guide to Going Gluten-Free on Amazon.


Sources:

https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2017/03/170316174225.htm

https://medicine.iu.edu/news/2017/03/u-researchers-find-electroacupuncture-releases-stem-cells/

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(425) 686-4498

Dr. Ellie Heintze, ND, LAc

  • Master’s Degree in Acupuncture
    Bastyr University
  • Doctorate in Naturopathic Medicine
    Bastyr University
  • Master’s Degree in Chemistry
    Northern Arizona University
Doctor Ellie Heintze

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