If acetaminophen, ibuprofen and over-the-counter drugs are your answer to migraines, arthritis and other chronic pain, you may want to reconsider your method of pain relief.
According to a new study published in the Archives of Internal Medicine, acupuncture, an ancient Chinese therapy that involves using tiny needles, is more effective as a pain reliever than typical treatments.
‘Acupuncture is effective for the treatment of chronic pain and is therefore a reasonable referral option,’ the study’s authors wrote.
Since the study was so comprehensive, it’s also putting an end to the long debate over whether or not the alternative therapy’s positive results are just psychological.
‘Significant differences between true and sham acupuncture indicate that acupuncture is more than a placebo,’ the study’s authors wrote.
‘This has been a controversial subject for a long time,’ Dr. Andrew J. Vickers, attending research methodologist at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in New York and the lead author of the study told the New York Times. ‘We think there’s firm evidence supporting acupuncture for the treatment of chronic pain.’
While I haven’t tried acupuncture, I’m a huge believer in alternative therapies (especially massage!) and I’ll definitely try it if I ever need to.
What about you?
Do you rely on medication for pain relief? Will you switch to acupuncture now that it’s been shown to be more effective?
-Katharine Watts, Associate Web Editor