Can acupuncture or acupressure help alleviate chronic pain?

Maryanne Lane LMT NCTMB
Integrative Medicine

Yes they can. Finding the root cause and working the appropriate points is the key issue. I have worked with clients that did not get results with someone else and so were hesitant to spend money going elsewhere.

When you find a good practitioner you can feel the energy zipping through your body so ask around for references from friends.

Howard S. Smith
Pain Medicine
Some researchers suggest that peripheral nerve stimulation can modify functional responses within the brain. In this way, the patient’s pain tolerance is increased so that one acupuncture treatment in some patients may last weeks in helping to alleviate chronic pain. Studies have shown that acupuncture may alter brain chemistry by changing the release of neurotransmitters that stimulate or inhibit nerve impulses in the brain that relay information about external stimuli and sensations (such as pain) in a good way.
Dr. Robin Miller, MD
Internal Medicine
Acupuncture and acupressure can help alleviate chronic pain.  They both can be helpful at treating migraine headaches, osteoarthritis, and low back pain.  They can also be helpful for patients with fibromyalgia. 


Some researchers believe that both acupressure and acupuncture cause the body to release endorphins and monoamines, chemicals that block pain signals in the spinal cord and the brain. The endorphin system consists of chemicals that regulate the activity of a group of nerve cells in the brain that relax muscles, dull pain, and reduce panic and anxiety. These ancient touch therapies may also trigger the release of more hormones, including serotonin, a brain chemical that makes you feel calm and serene, as well as the anti-inflammatory chemical known as cortisol. With acupressure, not only are you benefiting from touching the points, but also you benefit from being touched with increased circulation and decreased tension.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.