I never thought of myself as an addict, but I did end up addicted to anti-anxiety medication after developing Generalized Anxiety Disorder. At some point, the medicine stopped being a way to deal with the nervousness and panic attacks, and became something my body craved. I knew that I needed help fast. Fortunately, a local drug rehab program includes support for people like me. They helped me wean off the medication, use methods like massage therapy to help my nerves heal, and even provided ongoing counseling for our family. I don't know how I would have made it without their help. If you suspect that your medication has crossed the line from being helpful to hurtful, take heart. Let me tell you about my journey out of addiction and back to wholeness.
If you suffer from migraines, osteoarthritis, or another condition that causes such severe pain you've been prescribed pain medication to combat your symptoms, you may be growing tired of the side effects of these drugs. From foggy thinking to digestive upset and even physical or psychological addiction, prescription narcotics and opiates can often cause more problems than they solve. On the other hand, living with severe pain on a daily basis can cause long-term health problems as well. Read on to learn more about how acupuncture may be able to help you kick (or at least reduce your reliance on) prescription pain relievers for good.
How can acupuncture relieve pain?
Unlike prescription painkillers, which act on nerve receptors in the brain to block pain signals, acupuncture is best used as part of a holistic self-care plan that includes other healthy lifestyle changes like improving diet, getting more sleep, and regular stretching. Many practitioners believe that insertion of acupuncture needles into specific pressure points on the body triggers a self-healing mechanism that can release endorphins and other natural pain-relieving hormones and even improve circulation to the affected area.
Some acupuncturists will insert and remove these needles during the same visit, while others will place the needles in locations that are unlikely to be disturbed with regular activity (like the ears) and instruct you to leave them in for several days before removing them yourself or returning for another visit. These longer treatments can sometimes help knock down severe or chronic pain to a level that's more easily manageable with infrequent treatments.
How often will you need to seek treatment to keep your pain at bay?
The answer to this largely depends on the symptoms you're experiencing. In many cases, you'll experience nearly instant relief upon insertion and removal of the needles, while in other cases it can take a few hours (or even a few days) for your pain to abate. After you've had a few acupuncture sessions, you should be better able to gauge your need for regular treatment by the time it takes for the effects of your most recent treatment to wear off.
Over time, you may also find that the more acupuncture sessions you have, the longer you will be able to go between visits without experiencing a flare-up in your pain levels, leaving any remaining twinges easily managed with over-the-counter pain relievers like aspirin or acetaminophen.Share