Acupuncture is an old Chinese medical practice that is still popular today. It operates on the notion that the entire body is a complex system where everything is interconnected and is powered by an invisible energy flow called chi (or ki). Chi circulates through certain meridian points in your body. Acupuncture is the basis of the Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT), a psychology tool used for stress relief.

Now the effects of acupuncture, particularly for chronic pain, are being acknowledged and commended by many health experts.

Acupuncture is Proven Successful in Treating Chronic Pain
In a recent analysis published in the Archives of Internal Medicine, researchers found that acupuncture has a more definite effect in reducing chronic back pain and headaches compared to standard pain treatment.

In the study, the researchers noted that patients who started out with a pain rating of 60 points (on a scale of 0 to 100) experienced a 30-point average reduction after receiving real acupuncture, as opposed to only a 25-point drop in participants who tried fake acupuncture. Meanwhile, those who received "standard" pain treatment, which included taking pain medications, only had a 17-point drop in their pain.

In addition, researchers also found out that real acupuncture also led to slightly better results compared to acupuncture that uses sham needles.

This is a very significant achievement, considering that an estimated 76.5 million Americans now suffer from chronic pain. One-third of these people say that their pain is severe and "disabling."

Try These Other Effective Pain Relief Options as Well

Acupuncture’s proven effectiveness for chronic pain is indeed wonderful news. However, not everyone has easy access to a professional acupuncturist. In this case, try these other natural pain relief techniques:

Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT) - Chronic pain is usually linked to your psychological and emotional health. This is why if you have underlying emotional issues or unresolved trauma, your risk of chronic pain increases. Why not try EFT? EFT operates on the same meridian theory as acupuncture, but it does not use needles. You only need to tap on certain meridian points while chanting an affirmation statement.

Chiropractic adjustments - A study published in the Annals of Internal Medicine revealed that patients who turned to a chiropractor and/or exercise to relieve their neck pain were more than twice as likely to be pain-free in 12 weeks, as compared to those who took pain killers.

Massage - Endorphins, a hormone that induces relaxation, relieves pain. Reduces levels of stress chemicals like cortisol and noradrenaline are released during a massage.

Author's Bio: 

Aleah Benson is a health blogger. After pain medications failed to help her with his chronic pain, she switched to holistic methods like acupuncture and the Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT). She is grateful for these techniques, as they are effective in helping her stay physically active.