Acupuncture to reduce Opioid Dependency

The overuse and over prescription of medications which contain opioids for pain is a hot topic and has been receiving more media attention of late.

Opioids, sometimes called narcotics, include strong prescription pain relievers. Examples of opioid medications include oxycodone, hydrocodone, fentanyl, and tramadol. The illegal drug heroin is also an opioid. Some opioids are made from the opium plant, and others are synthetic (man-made).

According to a research paper by Chen et al. (2018), we are still dealing with the aftermath of opioids' use in the US civil war and that 'acupuncture is colliding with the opioid crisis not by accident but by necessity'. 'It is time to optimise our tactics and make sure that our therapies are not misaligned.'

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The Problems with Acupuncture

Acupuncture works for many pain conditions; this is a fact, not opinion.1

There a significant amount of research evidence to support a neurobiological basis for acupuncture.2 

These neurobiological effects are specifically related to the insertion of acupuncture needles. However, where the needles are inserted may be less important for certain patients and conditions. For example, a sensitive patient with a condition such as migraine, a disorder of the central nervous system, may respond as well to needles inserted away from the site of pain and while avoiding any ‘acupuncture points'.3

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What happens when you see me for Medical Acupuncture treatment?

Firstly, it is a good idea to make sure you have something to eat 1-2 hours before your treatment. This will help reduce the risk of you feeling faint during your session by keeping your sugar levels up.

You will be asked to complete a registration and ‘consent to treatment’ form when you arrive at the clinic. Medical acupuncture is considered very low-risk medical technique, when performed by a medical professional, with the incidence of severe adverse reactions being less than 1 in 200,000 reported treatments.

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Medical Acupuncture for Perceived Stress

It’s not often I interact with military folk nowadays, but had the pleasure of teaching a US Navy Commander who attended the recent BMAS Foundation Course. Commander Jane Abanes arrived looking rather serious before extending her hand with a warm smile. Before long, we were chatting about her recent research paper, acupuncture mechanisms and the limitations of sham-controlled RCT’s.
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What's in a name? Acupuncture vs Intramuscular Stimulation

According to the British Medical Acupuncture Society, the word acupuncture is derived from Latin stemming from ‘acus’ meaning needle and ‘punctura’ meaning puncture. The technique involves piercing the skin with fine metal needles in order to relieve symptoms, cure disease and promote health.

 

The GEANF was founded in 2004, bringing together 14 pain specialists and researchers in a top down and bottom up neuromodulation.

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