With misuse and addiction to opioids on the rise, it’s no wonder that more people are turning to holistic options when it comes to coping with chronic pain. While massage therapy, heat or cold therapy, and physical therapy can help, millions of Americans are also exploring the potential that acupuncture holds. This ancient form of medicine has been used by the Chinese and practitioners of Eastern medicine for centuries. Acupuncture is thought to improve the flow of energy throughout the body. There are pathways that connect more than 2,000 acupuncture points, and when these paths become blocked and energy or “chi” cannot flow freely, it causes disturbances in the body that may result in illness, pain, or other dysfunction. By inserting tiny needles into specific points, normal energy flow is resumed and discomfort subsides. If the thought of having needles stuck throughout your body sends shivers up your spine, don’t brush it off just yet. The needles used in acupuncture are incredibly thin and flexible, so it’s not like getting a shot. Many people hardly feel them at all. Each acupuncture point in the body is associated with a specific function and meridian. “Pain recovery at Las Vegas Recovery Center is about establishing balance in four areas: mental, physical, emotional and spiritual. Acupuncture is an extremely helpful treatment to help achieve these goals: it is a well-researched methodology of modifying the flow of energy in the body resulting in better health and balance as well as reduced pain,” said Mel Pohl, MD FASAM. Scientists are still researching exactly why acupuncture works and is effective in relieving pain, but they believe it is associated with the increased release of endorphins, which are natural pain relievers. Tapping into certain meridians may also stimulate the immune system, block pain receptors or release hormones. Acupuncture has been widely used not just for chronic pain, but also depression, migraines, and reproductive issues. If traditional methods are no longer providing relief or you want to avoid potentially addictive medications, acupuncture can be an effective alternative. It is often used in conjunction with other therapies for more comprehensive care. Though everyone’s body responds differently, many people experience positive results from regular acupuncture sessions. Join the conversation on Facebook and share your experience using acupuncture to relieve chronic pain.