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Acuputuncture No Longer Recommended for Back Pain

Discussion in 'General Discussion Subforum' started by BruceMC, Apr 11, 2016.

  1. BruceMC

    BruceMC Beloved Grand Eagle

    In this article from the Guardian, I see where the NHS in the UK no longer recommends acupuncture as an effective way to manage non-specific lower back pain and sciatica:

    https://www.theguardian.com/science/2016/mar/24/acupuncture-for-low-back-pain-no-longer-recommended-for-nhs-patients (Acupuncture for low back pain no longer recommended for NHS patients)

    It seems as though the NHS was approaching acupuncture as a strictly physical modality however. It made me wonder whether acupuncture might be a tool for accessing the unconscious emotions behind lower back pain and sciatica? So it wouldn't be as simple as get poked and see a reduction in pain level. I've noticed that during some of my acupuncture sessions I've experienced a big emotional release, similar to what Aristotle called a catharsis. Pretty hard to scientifically categorize though.
  2. TG957

    TG957 Beloved Grand Eagle

    Do not limit Chinese medicine to acupuncture. Chinese medicine does not distinguish between physical and mental health. However, acupuncture got hijacked by Western medicine and is often practices in the same "here is your magic pill" fashion. Traditional Chinese medicine includes acupuncture (or acupressure), herbal medicine (aka not so big Pharma), meridian massage and qi gong. Qi gong is a meditation exercise as much as it is a breathing practice - if done right, not the Western style as a mindless arm-swinging around. A true Chinese doctor will prescribe you qi gong.
  3. BruceMC

    BruceMC Beloved Grand Eagle

    That's what I'm implying. The test criteria NHS applied to acupuncture, it seemed to me, were woefully mechanistic. Poke a needle and see if the patient experiences relief from back pain and sciatica, one for one. The kind of acupuncture sessions I've had were more like Jungian depth psychology and explored deeper states of consciousness than I was ordinarily aware of. I can see where acupuncture, if done this way, might release some of the repressed emotionality behind lower lumbar pain symptoms.
  4. Tennis Tom

    Tennis Tom Beloved Grand Eagle

    Prior to TMS knowledge, I probably had over 200 acu sessions. Experienced no lasting effects except for placebo. Tried a few for weight loss, but no weight loss. I deduced that any benefit was from briefly getting off the battlefield of life, lessening the rage/soothe ratio for an hour. As soon as you're out of the parking lot and back onto the highway of life, any benefit quickly dissolves. You're on a comfortable table, a heat-lamp keeping you warm and maybe some nice music from the speakers in the ceiling--and you ain't going no where with all those needles stuck in you. I would occasionally ponder what I would do if an earthquake struck though.

    It's been a long time since President Nixon went to China and the stories of surgeries performed with only accu for an anesthetic that came back from that historic trip. Don't know of anyone in this country being given accu for surgeries or even root canals. All the studies I've seen agree that accu has no benefits except placebo, State of California did one a few years back when considering licensing accu and agreed.

    Wish I had all that money back and used it on massages instead to get more bang for my rage/soothe ratio buck. Accu practitioner probably spent ten minutes inserting needles and adjusting heat lamp, then on to the next room to needle someone else. At least with massage you get an hour of rubbing for your buck.
    Last edited: Apr 12, 2016
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  5. Tennis Tom

    Tennis Tom Beloved Grand Eagle

    From SteveO's new little book, DR. JOHN SARNO'S TOP 10 HEALING DISCOVERIES :

    p.16, "Everything the sufferer is doing 'to relieve pain' must stop. This includes acupuncture, chiropractic manipulations, physical therapy stretching, strengthening, surgery, steroid injections, alignment techniques, ointments, braces, shoe lifts, tapping, touching and tampering. These things are nocebos."
    Last edited: Apr 12, 2016
  6. BruceMC

    BruceMC Beloved Grand Eagle

    No, Tom, acupuncture isn't a physical modality for effectively relieving LBP and sciatica (although it may provide temporary relief). More like a way of exploring the states of consciousness underlying LBP. Like they say, it might show you the way, but it isn't the way. But it can become also become an evasion, an expensive but ultimately futile way of avoiding doing the real WORK. However, it can teach you a lot about yourself, especially if you're doing it under the direction of a skilled teacher-practitioner. In other words, acupuncture-acupressure isn't really about HBP. It can turn into an addiction, like attending encounter groups though.
  7. Tennis Tom

    Tennis Tom Beloved Grand Eagle

    Agree that the practitioner is the key element no matter what the procedure. They can convey the placebo effect through their charisma--or, corollarily a nocebo effect if they undermine the patient's self-confidence that it's TMS, instilling fear of physical damage. I'm sure there are well meaning practitioner's in many physically oriented "healing" modalities, too bad they don't switch careers to TMS practitioners--they could become life coaches and decondition TMS'ers from fearing physical activity.
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  8. BruceMC

    BruceMC Beloved Grand Eagle

    Seems like strengthening to "correct muscle imbalances" is what Steve's referring to. This is one of the evasive structural diagnoses that are offered by PTs in particular to account for TMS pain. However, I find that just being a b_stard and doing leg presses with increasing weight helps a lot because it helps to expand you range of motions which in turn convinces the psyche that the underlying problem is not physical. I've noticed that every time I press more weight on the leg press machine immediately afterwards I have much greater pain-free range of motion and mobility, and it seems to last as I progress with heavier weights. Same thing with doing activities that hurt, just do more of them and be a b_stard while practicing outcome independence at the same time. That's the hard way of course of convincing yourself it isn't physical or structural.

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