Should I try Acupuncture for Pain Management?

acupuncture for pain

A conversation with Acupuncture Physician Dr. Su Thi Ho Campo

If you live with a condition that causes chronic pain, such as fibromyalgia or rheumatoid arthritis, you may have considered trying acupuncture for pain management. In fact, acupuncture has become increasingly accepted as treatment for many common types of pain, and is now covered by several insurance companies in the United States, including Blue Cross Blue Shield, United and Aetna, depending on your specific policy.

I sat down with Dr. Su Thi Ho Campo, licensed Acupuncture Physician and Doctor of Oriental Medicine in the state of Florida, to get a better understanding of what conditions acupuncture treats, and what to expect on your first visit.

What Conditions Does Acupuncture Treat?

Most commonly, acupuncture is used for pain management, particularly neck and back pain. While acupuncture for pain is common, it can also be used in conjunction with fertility treatments, and actually doubles a person’s chance of success.

Additionally, Dr. Su, as well as many acupuncturists around the country, works very closely with Veterans Affairs (VA) hospitals, which will send veterans over for acupuncture treatment in lieu of pharmaceutical (opioid) treatment.

In some states that have been hit hard by the opioid crisis, Medicaid programs are even starting to cover acupuncture treatment for pain for low-income patients.

Additionally, Dr. Su works closely with Moffitt Cancer Center and Florida Cancer Specialists to treat cancer patients. Sometimes she treats cancer pain, but more commonly acupuncture is used to treat symptoms of cancer treatment, such as digestive issues or insomnia.

How Does Acupuncture for Pain Work?

Acupuncture is a type of Traditional Chinese Medicine that was around 3,500 years before traditional Western medicine even existed. In an acupuncture treatment session, needles, heat and pressure are applied to specific points on the body.

The original idea behind acupuncture is that it redirects the body’s natural energy, or chi (aka qi), because when the energy is off balance, illnesses and pain occur.

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