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Acupuncture and Pain relief

Updated: Jun 23, 2023

Testimony TR (May 2022)

"I had a painful right shoulder for months and it was very difficult for me to move my right arm, after a few acupuncture session with Esther Hornstein, T.G.. i regained full range of movement, pain free....incredible...i am so grateful, Thank you H'..., Thank you Esther...

Acupuncture as a pain relief

Qualified and experienced Therapist, Complementary Holistic Therapy, 2nd Nature Healing Center, Beit Shemesh

According to the National Institute of Health (NIH), a number of studies suggest that acupuncture works particularly well on chronic pain such as back and neck pain; osteoarthritis/knee pain; and headache.

It often reduces the incidence and severity of tension headaches and may prevent migraines. The NIH concludes that acupuncture appears to be a reasonable option for people with chronic pain to consider.

Research offers evidence that acupuncture is beneficial in treatment of chronic pain and its strength is comparable to morphine !!! ( without the side effect associated to morphine).

Because of the risks of dependence and the side-effects of standard drug therapy for pain, acupuncture is emerging among the top choice analgesic .

What Is Acupuncture & How does it work?

Acupuncture is a branch of traditional Chinese medicine (TCM). It works by applying needles, heat, and pressure to specific points on the body.

According to the theory of acupuncture an essential life energy called qi (pronounced “chee”) flows through the body along 20 invisible channels called meridians. When the flow of this energy is blocked or out of balance, illness or pain results. More than 2,000 acupuncture points connect to the meridians. Traditional Chinese Medicine believes that stimulating those points with needles will correct the flow of qi and alleviate pain.

A lot of research confirm that when we put an acupuncture needle into the body, a number of physiological mechanisms occurs.

A well-placed needle sets off a cascade of events, producing a signal that travels along the spinal cord to the brain, triggering a release of neurotransmitters called endorphins and enkephalins, which scientists believe reduce the sensation of pain. Research also shows that inserting an acupuncture needle induces the production of cortisol, a hormone that helps control inflammation.

Acupuncture has been demonstrated to enhance endogenous opiates, such as dynorphin, endorphin, encephalin, and release corticosteroids, relieving pain and enhancing the healing process when compared to traditional methods of pain management.

Do all these biochemical changes relieve sore, stiff joints? A study by Dr. Berman and his colleagues found that after 26 weeks, patients receiving real acupuncture felt significantly less pain and functioned better (as measured by how far they could walk in six minutes) than their counterparts who received sham acupuncture.

What are Acupuncture Side effects?

Despite the fact that the procedure is performed by inserting hair-thin needles into various parts of the body, acupuncture is considered non-invasive and gentle.

Sara Calabro wrote a tongue-in-cheek article for The Huffington Post about the “side effects” of acupuncture and listed them as : “better sleep, more energy, mental clarity, better digestion, and less stress.”

She acknowledges that acupuncture has downsides including: the potential to worsen symptoms of the problem being treated; fatigue; soreness; bruising; muscle twitching; lightheadedness; and emotional release (crying). But these issues are rare and neither serious nor long lasting. According to Ms. Calabro, they should not deter anyone from trying acupuncture for the first time.

Acupuncture Therapy is being used as an analgesic for several conditions:

Arthritis & Rheumatoid Arthritis

Acupuncture has gained some mainstream acceptance as a pain relief of arthritis.

Biliary and renal colic

Biliary and renal colic are two conditions for which acupuncture can be used not only as pain reliever but also as an antispasmodic. This prevents the spasms and pain associated with it.


In childbirth, acupuncture analgesia may ease labour pain and also reduce the duration of labour. In the case of weakened uterine contractions it can stimulate the uterine muscles as well.

Dental and Post operative pain:

Acupuncture has been widely used in dentistry. Acupuncture helps relieve postoperative pain from various dental procedures, including tooth extraction and periodontitis.

Acupuncture analgesia to relieve postoperative pain is now proven in studies.

Digestive disorders

Acupuncture provides relief in upper abdominal or epigastric pain. For gastrointestinal spasm, acupuncture is indicated.

Morning sickness, postoperative vomiting. Nausea and vomiting related to chemotherapy may be treated with acupuncture.

Irritable colon syndrome and chronic ulcerative colitis can be treated with acupuncture as a complementary or alternative therapeutic measure.


Acupuncture together with cupping has been recommended for treating gout.

Gynaecological and obstetric conditions

Acupuncture is useful in dysmenorrhoea. Acupuncture relieves pain and also regulates the motility of the uterus to facilitate menstrual bleeding and easing pain.

Premenstrual syndrome may also be treated with acupuncture.

Respiratory disorders

Acupuncture has been used successfully in respiratory disorders such as allergic rhinitis.

The acute symptoms of tonsillitis can also be relieved with acupuncture.


For injuries such as sprains acupuncture is useful for relieving pain. It hastens recovery and in addition it does not pose the risk of drug dependence.

Urological problems

Acupuncture works in urinary retention and other urological problems as well. Acupuncture is not only useful for relieving renal colic but also for expulsion of renal or kidney stones. Sexual disorders are often treated with acupuncture but there is lacking evidence of efficacy.

How many Acupuncture sessions and how often ?

How many and how often you get treated will depend on the benefit you receive and on the severity of the pain. It could be twice a week at first then weekly and then monthly as a maintenance program.

Often patients will see their acupuncturist on a regular basis, simply to maintain a feeling of general well being.

Please note: Some insurance companies will cover the cost of acupuncture Therapy. It is therefore worth asking them.

How to choose an Acupuncturist

It is important to find a Trained and Experienced practitioner Acupuncturist. Diplomats of acupuncture have at least four years of academic training at the master’s level, must pass rigorous exams and meet state licensing and continuing education requirements.


Esther Hornstein L.Ac. TCM, Qualified and experienced Therapist, Complementary Holistic Therapy, 2nd Nature Healing Center, Beit Shemesh

Esther Hornstein is a New York State licensed acupuncturist and diplomat in acupuncture. with continuous professional update.

In her Therapeutic Holistic approach, she addresses Pediatric ailments, Men & Women’s health, Pain management and overall Wellness.

Her private practice is in Ramat Beit Shemesh, Israel. 2nd nature Healing Center, 34 Nachal Hakishon.

tel: 054 719 9600

To make an appointment you may:

Click on the link Below

call or WhatsApp : 054-719-9600

e-mail :

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