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Acupuncture for Chronic Pain Management

Using Acupuncture to Manage Chronic Pain

Of all the health conditions which I treat successfully in my clinic, chronic pain management stands above all else. The truth is that Acupuncture is effective in treating both acute and chronic pain but in my everyday practice, where I see the greater need is in chronic pain management. Chronic pain management is my specialty. No one likes pain but when pain is persistent and doesn’t go away then it becomes a chronic health problem. This often leads to depression, sleep problems, weight gain, restrictive and sedentary lifestyle, and daily usage of palliative opiate pain-killing drugs.

Frequently Asked Questions About Chronic Pain

Traditional Chinese Medicine, and in particular Acupuncture, has a long history of orthopedics and sports injury. In today’s world, Acupuncture offers a natural holistic way for pain relief. In the simplest terms, Acupuncture relieves pain by removing the energetic blockage caused by chi and blood stagnation. Said another way, Acupuncture stimulates the flow of chi and blood in order to improve circulation thereby modulating the body’s pain response. In addition to Acupuncture, suction Cupping is often used as a supplemental technique to further break up chi and blood stasis in order to get the best results.

Clinically, the typical profile is a middle-aged person who has enjoyed a very active and athletic lifestyle but one who may have suffered injuries along the way ( back, knees, hip joint, neck, feet ) which required surgery. Fast forward to today where the adhesions ( scar tissue ) has accumulated thereby impeding blood flow to the local area, causing circulatory issues resulting in pain. Many of these folks in their 50’s are prime candidates for hip and knee replacement. These surgical procedures are quite traumatic without guaranteed results.

In seeking alternative treatment, Acupuncture offers a non-invasive option to address and manage chronic pain. Admittedly, Acupuncture is no panacea. However, compliance to a regular Acupuncture pain management protocol will increase proficiency and performance of those problematic areas which cause pain.

The health benefit of Acupuncture is cumulative. Typically, the patient experiences symptomatic relief shortly after the session. Then after a few days, the relief begins to wear off and the onset of pain returns, albeit at a slower and less intense rate. That’s why it is important to commit to a routinized regimen so that the lasting benefits begin to stick, not only allowing the patient to perform activities in which she loves ( skiing, cycling, running, swimming ) but also experiencing a profound shift in day to day pain management whereby she has more good days than bad.

  • Back Pain: mostly cyclists/spinners or swimmers/surfers who may be experiencing nerve impingement
  • Knee Pain: mostly skier/basketball players who have had past injuries and surgeries
  • Hip Pain/Sciatica: smorgasbord including a buffet of cyclist/skier/runner/swimmers
  • Neck Pain: weight lifter/swimmer/cyclist
  • Foot Pain/Plantar Fasciitis: avid runners resulting in injury from repetitive use
  • Elbow Pain/Tennis & Golfer’s Elbowlateral & medial epicondylitis due to excess and repetitive stress
  • Carpal Tunnel Syndrome: computer user manipulating the mouse, thereby causing chronic stress and pressure on median nerve

Acupuncture is extremely effective in treating back pain of all sorts, in particular, low back pain. Typically, these patients either have a very active or sedentary lifestyle. The active ones require a maintenance routine in order to continue a rigorous workout program whether it’s swimming, jogging, golfing, or racquet sports. The sedentary ones suffer from chi and blood stasis due to inactivity which benefits from Acupuncture’s ability to bring blood flow to the local area and promote circulation.

Acupuncture protocol for chronic pain management is typically one session per week. A regular weekly maintenance program ensures that the patient gets symptomatic pain relief should any acute flare-ups pop up, as well as promoting the smooth flow of chi and blood as a preventative measure.

Testimonials from Clients with Chronic Pain in Mill Valley

Chris is truly a lifesaver. I have had intermittent back issues for 5+ years and he is my go to “ Tylenol “ to relieve all pain. I believe in him/his work so strongly that I have sent over a dozen people to him with the statement…” if he does not help you, I will pay for your session. “ Nobody has ever asked me to pay, they have only thanked me!
Nancye Michaelian
Back Pain Patient
I have dealt with knee pain most of my life since having 5 surgeries in my 20s. Now at 51, the pain is more constant and my legs ache daily. I didn’t know that acupuncture can help relieve pain as it brings blood flow to the area promoting healing. After my first session, I felt immediate relief. I am excited to see the results after continued sessions and I am hoping to be more active again in my life.
Jen Tidwell
Knee Pain Patient

In conclusion, for any individual who leads an active lifestyle, chronic pain is a natural function of the aging process. It is by no means a death sentence. But it is your body’s way of trying to get your attention so that you can actively manage it in order to maintain a high quality of life. This doesn’t happen in a vacuum. You need to become an advocate for yourself.

Suffering from chronic pain?

Experience lasting relief with acupuncture treatments. Get back to doing the things you love without the pain.

Luminate Mill Valley Clinic

Address: 295 Miller Ave, Suite C, Mill Valley, CA 94941

Phone: (415) 383-9900




San Francisco, Kentfield, Ross, San Anselmo, Corte Madera, Larkspur, Greenbrae, Tiburon,  Sausalito, San Rafael 

Chris Veiga L.Ac

Chris Veiga is a licensed acupuncturist and Chinese herbalist, he has been serving the local Mill Valley community and greater Marin County for the last twenty years.

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