Sunday, June 04, 2023

ADVERTISING: Advertorial — Why acupuncture really works for pain relief (backed by science)

| February 1, 2023 1:00 AM

Pain is the No. 1 driver of pharmaceutical sales in the U.S. Nearly three out of 10 U.S. adults have chronic low back pain. Neck pain affects over thirty percent of Americans, and arthritis afflicts nearly 25 percent. There are many types and causes of pain, but all of these have one thing in common, inflammation! Whether the pain is caused from an injury, a toxin or poor lifestyle choices, inflammation is our body’s natural process of repairing and rebuilding damaged tissue. However, with prolonged or repeated stresses the inflammatory response eventually gets stuck on “autopilot,” and chronic inflammation and pain sets in.

Opioids and NSAIDS top the list of pain-and-inflammation-reducing medications, however they are accompanied by significant side effects. Opioids cause constipation, nausea and drowsiness, and drive the current opioid addiction epidemic. While NSAIDS are not addictive, they significantly increase the risk of stroke and clotting disorders, and studies show that though they effectively lower inflammation in the short-term, they actually increase it in the long-term!

Acupuncture has repeatedly been clinically proven to be a much safer and effective option for pain relief. With virtually no side effects, acupuncture importantly helps to heal the body, rather than simply suppress symptoms. How does it work?

Acupuncture lowers inflammation. A research study in 2017 examined 21,000 patients from 39 clinical trials who suffered from musculoskeletal pain, arthritis and headaches, and found that acupuncture had a significant effect on chronic pain that persisted for at least 12 months after treatment. Another research study looked at 43 clinical trials from 1974-2018 examining the effect of acupuncture on rheumatoid arthritis, and found that acupuncture not only reduced pain, stiffness and swelling in joints, but “before and after” blood lab markers revealed both a pronounced anti-inflammatory effect and improved immune function.

Your vagus nerve stretches from your brain to your large intestine. Studies show vagal nerve activity inhibits inflammation and activates brain regions that regulate pain. A 2012 study looked at acupuncture as an alternative for vagus nerve stimulated device surgeries for pain conditions unresponsive to drug interventions. The study found that acupoints used for centuries along vagus nerve locations produce similar benefits to the devices — without the negative side effects.

Acupuncture stimulates the body’s natural opioid system. A 2007 research study by anesthesiologists found the amount of opioids needed after surgery for patients who received acupuncture was significantly lower than those who did not.

At Vital Health, we combine acupuncture with an anti-inflammatory diet and clinically proven pain-relieving herbs to lower your inflammation and alleviate your pain naturally. More importantly, we heal the underlying inflammatory mechanisms causing the pain, to provide permanent, medication-free relief.

Learn more by attending our upcoming health class, "Powerful Ways to Conquer Pain without Drugs," 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 15 at Vital Health in Coeur d'Alene. Fee: $15. Attend in-person or online via Zoom. To register, call 208-765-1994 or go to

Want to hear more from Vital Health? Check out our podcast. Search for VitalHealth4You on your favorite podcast listening app or go to

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Darcy Greenwald holds a master’s degree in Oriental Medicine, and is a Licensed Acupuncturist. She is additionally certified in Western Herbalism and massage therapy. She has more than 20 years of experience in natural medicine. Greenwald is a “Health Detective,” she looks beyond your symptom picture and investigates WHY you are experiencing your symptoms in the first place. Greenwald is currently accepting new patients and offers natural health care services and whole food nutritional supplements at Vital Health in Coeur d’Alene.

Visit our website at to learn more about Greenwald, view a list of upcoming health classes and read other informative articles. Greenwald can be reached at 208-765-1994 and would be happy to answer any questions regarding this topic.

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