When an unwelcome knot or an unfamiliar strain grows with tension on our backs, we usually do what anyone else would do about it: We complain. And after we get that out of the way, we usually try pills, hot packs, ice bags, or even a personal massage to possibly make it better. Most of us, if we're being honest, never think to do acupuncture—but maybe we should.
"Acupuncture is the insertion of hair-thin needles into the 'earwax' of the body to assist in resetting the nervous system," Mona Ahdoot Dan, a licensed acupuncturist at Vie Healing, says. "This process aids the brain in sending proper chemicals to the body that mimic opioids, as well as oxygenated blood to reduce inflammation and regulate pain signals."
Below, we asked Mona to give us the basics on why acupuncture should be considered when back pain becomes too much to bear.
How does it work?
Oxygenated blood is the key to this process because it nourishes the body and decreases inflammation, which is the likely culprit behind back pain. "With acupuncture, we stimulate the proper points, especially polar points on the hands and feet, that rush blood back to the nervous system to assist the body in inflammation reduction," Mona continues.
How do you get started?
Once you've come around to the idea that acupuncture is a better option than aches, groans, and at-home remedies, Mona suggests making an appointment at a treatment center for a complete diagnosis of your body's overall health. This will include acupuncture, of course, but it may also extend into other practices. "We may do cupping, moxa, and Eastern nutritional counseling," she says. "We'd also build a specific herbal prescription to maintain the wellness achieved from the acupuncture."
What comes next?
After the initial session, Mona says that you may expect to get acupuncture up to three times a week for the first week and then once a week thereafter. "Once the pain is regulated, you should come twice a month," she says. "Acupuncture is like a workout for the nervous system. It's great for pain control, prevention, and overall wellness."