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How Does Acupuncture Work for Pain Management?

Updated: Dec 19, 2023

acupuncture for pain

Pain. It's something we all experience at some point in our lives. Whether it's a nagging backache, a throbbing migraine, or the dull ache of arthritis, chronic pain can significantly impact our quality of life.

For many, traditional pain management options like medication offer limited relief and come with unwanted side effects. But there's hope. At our clinic in Hove, a centuries-old practice called acupuncture is gaining popularity as a safe and effective alternative for pain management.

What is Acupuncture?

Acupuncture originates in Traditional Chinese Medicine, a holistic system that views health as a balance of energy flow (Qi) throughout the body. This energy flows along pathways called meridians, with specific points (acupoints) located along them. Acupuncture involves inserting fine, sterile needles into these acupoints, stimulating the release of endorphins, reducing inflammation, and improving blood circulation.

acupuncture diagram

How Does Acupuncture Work for Pain?

The exact mechanisms of acupuncture's pain relief are still being researched, but several theories are supported by scientific evidence. Acupuncture can:

  • Stimulate the nervous system: Needles trigger the release of endorphins, the body's natural painkillers, and other neurotransmitters that modulate pain signals.

  • Reduce inflammation: Acupuncture can decrease inflammation markers, leading to pain reduction and improved tissue healing.

  • Improve blood circulation: Increased blood flow to painful areas promotes healing and reduces muscle tension.

  • Regulate hormones: Acupuncture can influence hormone levels, such as cortisol (the stress hormone), which can indirectly affect pain perception.

What Types of Pain Can Acupuncture Help With?

Numerous studies have shown acupuncture to be effective for managing pain conditions. For instance, a recent review published in the Journal of Pain Research found acupuncture to be effective for both short-term and chronic pain, including:

  • Back pain and neck pain

  • Migraines and headaches

  • Arthritis pain

  • Tennis elbow and carpal tunnel syndrome

  • Menstrual cramps and PMS symptoms

  • Fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue syndrome

  • Postoperative pain

acupuncture for pain management

Is Acupuncture Safe?

When performed by a qualified and licensed acupuncturist, such as our practitioner here at White Tara Clinic Monica Bailey, acupuncture is considered a very safe treatment. The needles used are sterile and hair-thin, causing minimal discomfort. While minor side effects like bruising or slight bleeding can occur, they're rare and usually resolve quickly.

Finding a Qualified Acupuncturist in Hove

Choosing a qualified acupuncturist is crucial for a safe and effective experience. Our practitioners are registered with the British Acupuncture Council (BAcC). You can also check our online reviews and recommendations to ensure that our acupuncturists are well-recommended.


Acupuncture offers a natural and effective path to pain relief for many individuals. If you're looking for a drug-free alternative to traditional pain management, consider exploring the benefits of acupuncture. Here at our Hove clinic, you have access to acupuncturists who can guide you on your journey to a pain-free life.

If you're experiencing pain, we're here to help you. Contact our Brighton and Hove clinic today and let us help you cultivate the life you deserve.

DISCLAIMER: All content is provided for general information only and should not taken for medical advice. White Tara Clinic is not responsible or liable for any diagnosis made by a user based on the content of this site.

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