How Acupuncture Works for Acute and Chronic Pain
What you will learn
- Draw clinically relevant lessons from the research, such as
- The need for adequate frequency and duration of treatment sessions to achieve lasting neuromodulation.
- That acupuncture appears to be at least as effective as IV Morphine in treating acute pain.
- That there is a small number of people who are non-responders to acupuncture analgesia (AA) who need to be referred to other therapies.
- Communicate more effectively with patients, other health practitioners and the community at large when asked that question – “So how does acupuncture work?”
- Overview of the acupuncture analgesia research.
“So how does acupuncture work?”
Acupuncture has been found to be effective for numerous types of acute and chronic pain. One of the striking characteristics of acupuncture’s effects on chronic pain is the longevity of the effects, with chronic pain patients 12 months after the last acupuncture session experiencing 85 -90% of the pain relief they felt on the day of their last treatment. This appears to be associated with lasting modulation of the peripheral and central nervous system – neuroplasticity.
This course provides acupuncturists with an overview of the acupuncture analgesia research to enable them to communicate more effectively with patients, other health practitioners and the community at large when asked that question – “So how does acupuncture work?”
Research on the physiological mechanisms underpinning acupuncture’s analgesic effects began with investigation of the neurological pathways taken by the acupuncture-induced signal. Carried principally on Aδ and C sensory fibres the acupuncture signal from the acupuncture point was found to ascend to the brain and brain stem where a complex series of interactions between nuclei dubbed the “mesolimbic loop of acupuncture analgesia” occurred followed by a descending signal to the dorsal horn of the spine, activating the Pain Gate. With the discovery that the body produces its own endogenous opioids, attention turned next to exploring the various categories of endogenous opioids – enkephalins, endorphins, dynorphins and endomorphins. Dozens of non-opioid mediators were also identified as participating in acupuncture analgesia (AA), some acting to enhance AA, some to inhibit AA, and others to selectively enhance or inhibit. As well as further research on both opioid and non-opioid mediators, researchers have more recently turned their attention to identifying the receptor interactions and signalling pathways involved in AA. Adenosine activating adenosine receptors at the needling site has been found to be essential for AA.
The types of pain for which research has found acupuncture to be effective include inflammatory pain and neuropathic pain, musculoskeletal pain, headaches and migraines, gynaecological/obstetric pain, post-surgical pain and some types of cancer-related pain.
This course is approved by:
an informative, evidence-based explanation
Thank you John for an informative, evidence-based explanation of how acupuncture works from a neurophysiology perspective in relation to pain management.
Disclaimer | Before You Purchase
Accessing Your Course
After the checkout, the course will be automatically added to your account and unless otherwise specified you can start learning immediately.
The course is always available for you, as long as you have an internet connection.
To watch your course, simply log-in. You can reach your courses either from your account or from the course page.
An easy way to find it is under “My Academy” => “My Courses” on the top bar.
Our pre-recorded courses are immediately accessible after purchase and therefore are non-refundable.
We encourage you to return to courses again and again as learning continues and in each view, we learn and understand new things.
CEU/PDA/CPD requirements need to be completed within 1 year of the purchase. You are advised to print and save your certificate for your records and under your association requirements.
Members of NCCAOM & Florida, need to fill in a form after completing their courses for us to submit the points. Look for our email after the completion of the course.
This course has a PDF of its slides, courtesy of the speaker. Available for participants.