Is Acupuncture Better for Pain than Drugs?

By Published On: September 15, 2014Categories: NJ Sciatica

NJ Teachers Article for September 2014

There is mounting evidence that acupuncture is more effective than drugs for treating pain – AND there are no dangerous side effects. When it comes to pain and wellness, here’s a lesson worth remembering: acupuncture is one of the oldest healing practices in the world. The origins of acupuncture can be traced back thousands of years to ancient China. The practice is based on belief in keeping the body’s vital energy flow, or qi (pronounced chee) in balance. Qi flows through the body along 14 ‘pathways’ or meridians. When energy becomes stuck or blocked, pain and illness can occur. The Chinese believed that the body’s energy flow, or “qi,” was responsible for keeping the body’s basic functions in proper working order, and that disruptions or imbalances in the body’s natural qi could lead to pain and/or illness. Through acupuncture, imbalances in the patient’s qi can be corrected, allowing the body to function optimally.

People from all walks of life, from car mechanics to teachers to computer programmers, can suffer from painful sciatica, carpal tunnel and neck or low back pain due to repetitive motions and, often, stress. Acupuncture has been shown to help patients mange pain for these disorders, as well as many others, such as migraines and joint pain. The process of inserting very fine needles along specific points in the body can release natural pain-relieving chemicals, promote circulation and balance the nervous system.

Acupuncture has become an increasingly popular option for patients who suffer from chronic pain. In fact, the FDA estimates that Americans undergo between 9 and 12 million acupuncture treatments per year – a number that is bound to continue growing, thanks to its safety and effectiveness. The procedure itself involves the use of ultra-thin needles, made from silver and steel alloy. After a patient has been diagnosed and acupuncture has been deemed appropriate, a licensed acupuncturist will map out the points on the patient’s body where the therapeutic needles can be used to effectively restore the body’s natural energy flow. Patients generally feel only a brief sensation when the needles are inserted, and are often surprised at how painless the treatment actually is. In fact, many patients find acupuncture to be soothing and relaxing.

Acupuncture has been found to help in the treatment of:

Dr. Brad Butler, DC, owner and Clinic Director of Oakland Spine and physical therapy, received his Doctor of Chiropractic degree from New York Chiropractic College in 1995. Dr. Butler is a noted contributor to two NY Times best-selling books, and was twice named “One of America’s Top Chiropractors” by Consumer Research Council of America and awarded “NJ Top Doctor” three years in a row by He is post-graduate proficiency rated in Newborn/Pregnancy Care by the International Chiropractic Pediatric Association, Activator Methods Proficiency Rated and Chiropractic Sports injuries Proficiency Rated by the NYCC.

* Reprinted with permission from New Jersey Teachers Magazine.