Chronic Pain can cover a whole range of conditions including regional pain in the back, neck, joints, limbs, chest, abdomen and pelvis. It can also include less specific syndromes such as neuropathic, myalgic and geriatric pain, and cancer.
Have you suffered from a painful condition for what seems like a long time? Has medical intervention proved ineffective in diagnosing the root of your condition? Do you feel that people around you - health professionals or family and work colleagues fail to understand the significance of your pain? Are you being made to feel like a hypochondriac? If you answer yes to any one or more of these questions, the chances are that you are suffering from a Chronic Pain condition.
Consider this. In 2004 Dr Foster's survey Adult Chronic Pain Management Services in Primary Care (2004) found acupuncture to be the third most used service in Chronic Pain management in the Primary Care setting. Unfortunately, however, it was also found that although Chronic Pain is one of the most significant causes of suffering in the UK, Chronic Pain management services are grossly under funded. This means that even if you are on an NHS list for Pain management services you could be in for a long wait, and when you do get the chance to benefit, have a bare minimum of treatments which are not necessarily enough to address the problem.
As you begin your search for an acupuncturist you will come across other health professionals such as doctors, physios and osteopaths who incorporate acupuncture into their practice. The main difference between these and Traditional Acupuncturists is that Traditional Acupuncturists have three full years training and are members of the professional body, the British Acupuncture Council. Medical Acupuncturists do not train in the Chinese system of diagnosis and treatment. They generally have a short training in trigger points, which can be effective in short term relief of symptoms at their branch level. Traditional Acupuncture, through its ancient system addresses the deeper root of the problem as well the branch level.
Western medicine accepts that certain affective emotional states such as stress, anger, depression and fear can make our experience of pain worse. The problem is that there is very little in place in the Western medical pain management model to address this aspect of Chronic pain. This is equally the case with medical acupuncture. Five Element Traditional Acupuncture is a system which treats the whole person not just the symptom. As acupuncture treatment progresses, tension, frustration, stress reduce, and muscles relax, all of which can significantly aid physical improvements.
When you come through my door the first thing you can expect is that I take your experience of pain seriously. Very often by the time patients enlist the help of an acupuncturist they have already exhausted every medical avenue open to them, by which time their condition has deteriorated not improved. It might therefore be worth considering acupuncture as a first step than a last resort.