Finally, consider acupuncture. Originating from China thousands of years ago, acupuncture involves a trained practitioner inserting needles through the skin in order to stimulate specific points on the body. (Don’t worry, the needles are extremely thin and don’t hurt!) Studies show that this technique can ease many types of chronic pain, such and neck, back and knee pain, as well as frequent headaches.
According to Eastern beliefs, acupuncture works by restoring the balance of the body’s circulating life energy, known as chi, which flows along pathways that are stimulated by the needles. Western medicine cites the "gate control theory,” meaning the needles activate peripheral nerves to shut the "gate" on (interrupt) pain signals traveling through the spinal cord.
“When you’re experiencing pain, certain areas of the brain are activated. Studies have shown that acupuncture causes endorphins to be released from the brain, promoting internal relief, rather than relying on medicine,” Dr. Duarte says.
In addition to easing pain, acupuncture may help combat other issues, like insomnia, digestive woes, stress, anxiety, and even infertility. Remember to pick a licensed professional who has experience in performing acupuncture for the specific condition you’re looking to treat.
No matter which form of holistic therapy you try, it just may bring you a daily dose of inner peace, balance and well-being, as well as pain relief.