According to a recent article in the Washington Post, prescription medication is being used by nearly 60% of adult Americans. An aging population can be a contributing factor. However, use of many prescription drugs can be attributed to poor lifestyle choices such as obesity causing diabetes and gastroesophageal reflux (aka GERD) as well as cardiac related issues including hypertension and heart failure. Chronic pain is also a significant reason for the increased use and abuse of prescription painkillers. Although there are times when prescription medication is required, conventional drugs are over prescribed. In many cases, it may help to encourage patients to eat a better diet, exercise regularly, integrate stress relief practices and seek out less invasive alternative therapies. When faced with having to take a prescriptions, one must understand the side effects. Fortunately, there are other options than to take multiple prescriptions. Acupuncture is gaining coverage in the news due to its effectiveness and lack of detrimental side effects. Even the military, especially the Army, has been promoting acupuncture, yoga, mindfulness meditation, biofeedback, chiropractic care, massage, exercise therapy for their veterans to reduce the use of opioids.
Acupuncture can help reduce or eliminate side effects such as nausea from treatments like chemotherapy. These side effects of drugs can greatly interfere with quality of life. Other side effects include constipation, diarrhea, acid reflux (GERD), headaches, neuropathy, insomnia which can all be treated with acupuncture. High blood pressure is another easy symptom that can be addressed through acupuncture and stress relief practices.
Including acupuncture as part of a comprehensive treatment strategy for pain relief can help reduce the dosage, frequency of use and help to reduce use of stronger drugs like opioids. Acupuncture, massage or chiropractic care can help in treating chronic pain rather than immediately choosing cortisone shots, nerve blockers, surgery, and painkillers which can have side effects.
Consult with a licensed acupuncturist to learn how they can help you shrink the contents of your medicine cabinet and improve your health. Your body will thank you for it!