Acupuncture for back pain in Japan may be the solution you have been looking for if you’ve ever suffered from the ill effects of a back injury, and the immobilizing back pain that can come with it. Statistically, 80% of the population is bound to run into some form of back pain within their lifetime. If you want to do something about the pain, but are not interested in taking painkillers to numb your backache, acupuncture may be the natural solution you are looking for.
What is acupuncture?
Acupuncture is considered an alternative form of medicine, but don’t let the word “alternative” throw you off, it is an effective and proven method for relieving back pain.
Practiced for millennia, acupuncture has a rich history traced back to China over 4000 years ago.
In traditional Chinese medicine, it is believed that the body contains a network of pressure points, the meridian system, that controls the body’s natural energy flow or “Qi” (pronounced “chee”), and by stimulating these points one can redirect and improve energy flow, release bad energy, and correct the natural balance of Qi. This is where acupuncture comes into play.
Why acupuncture for back pain in Japan?
Most people who seek acupuncture treatment do so because of back pain. In fact, statistically 1 in 4 Japanese people turn to acupuncture for pain relief at some point in their life. It is a holistic method for treating aches and pains. It is also a viable option in lieu of painkillers, which may indeed keep your body from feeling a backache, but cannot cure the underlying problem causing the pain.
If you continue to do certain activities with the pain masked by medication, your condition may worsen over time. Acupuncture treatment is said to have fewer side effects compared to other methods of back pain treatment and produces a comparable result.
How does acupuncture for back pain in Japan work?
Acupuncture uses fine metallic needles to lightly penetrate the skin, after which they are manipulated by hand or electrical stimuli. It is believed through this stimulation the central nervous system reacts by releasing chemicals that either alter how the pain is felt, or create changes in the body and brain that increase one’s sense of well being.
Acupuncture utilizes the body’s natural resources by stimulating the nervous system to release neurochemicals such as endorphins and encephalin.
Is acupuncture for back pain in Japan safe?
When performed by a trained specialist, acupuncture is considered to be a risk free form of treatment, especially when compared to other orthodox methods of treatment. Most side effects that come along with acupuncture are small, such as minor bruising around the point of insertion, or dizziness.
Will my Japanese health insurance cover acupuncture for back pain in Japan?
The short answer is, yes; however the devil is in the details, as it depends on what you are seeking treatment for. Rheumatism, nerve sensitivity, lumbago (hip pain), and a number of other ailments all permit health insurance coverage for acupuncture, but unless you’ve been diagnosed with some form of chronic pain, you may not be eligible. In addition, insurance usually only covers a short acupuncture session when a longer one may be needed, It’s best to consult your doctor on the matter and receive an examination to see if your pain qualifies for insurance coverage.
How does the Japanese lifestyle reflect on back pain? How many Japanese suffer from back pain?
In Japan it is very common to sit on the floor, often without any form of back support. While this is second nature to Japanese people, for those who come from abroad, it may be a new source of back pain. In addition, those of you who work at a Japanese company will be familiar with the long hours spent at one’s desk. When sitting for extending periods of time compression of the spin is bound to happen and is a major cause of back pain. Having said this, it’s not surprising that back pain is a somewhat common ailment in Japan. Reportedly 1 in 10 people claim to have some form of back pain, and 90% of the population is affected by back pain at least once in their life. The cause of this can be attributed to stress, internal sickness, or bone or muscle problems in the lower back.
Japanese back pain patches
Of course, if in the end the idea of someone sticking needles into you is just not your thing, there is an alternative in the form of Japanese pain relief patches, or “shippu”. Coming in both the cold and hot varieties, shippu are readily available in Japanese drug stores. They are good for temporarily relieving pains and aches not just limited to backaches. They are also available through your doctor and when prescribed can be covered by insurance.
Hopefully you’ve lost any apprehension you may have had about trying acupuncture for back pain in Japan. Many people tout its positive effects, and it proves to be great alternative to merely dulling the ache with painkillers.
Before you go, just remember:
- Acupuncture is safe method for relieving back pain and is covered by Japanese insurance in most instances.
- The Japanese lifestyle may cause additional back pain to which acupuncture offers a solution.