Acupuncture is a common non-drug therapy that can help relieve multiple types of pain, including phantom limb pain. With acupuncture, thin needles are inserted into specific points in the skin. This causes the body to release chemicals that relieve pain. In addition to phantom limb pain, acupuncture is often used to relieve pain from osteoarthritis, migraines, fibromyalgia, rheumatoid arthritis, nerve pain, and other persistent undiagnosed pain. The treatment has been used by Chinese health professionals for thousands of years, and modern studies have indicated it does have benefits regarding nausea and pain. With traditional Chinese medicine, acupuncture is related to the theory that disease is caused by a disruption to an individual’s energy flow. Western scientists have come up with alternate hypotheses for why the treatment works. The main one is acupuncture stimulates a patient’s nerves. The nerves then send signals to the brain, which releases hormones like beta-endorphins, relieving pain.
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