News and Blog

Health Acupuncture in the opioid crisis era


The historic practice of acupuncture in relieving pain has been embraced by many, especially with the history of the opioid crisis.

In 2016, Brandy Golden became over worried and felt guilty when her two daughters were suffering from constant, inexplicable pain in every part of their body. What really would have caused this, diet, environment or even by her own doing? They constantly visited hospitals and even doctors became skeptical about the situation. This even affected her holding down a job.

Brandy, a single mom with two daughters; Gloria, 13 years and Grace,11years old said she was unable to remain employed as soon as the hospital visits started, which made her so scared that she thought her family will tear apart and become homeless. 

They were eventually diagnosed with “amplified musculoskeletal pain syndrome”, a common pain disorder found in young girls which could be as a result of illness, psychological stress and multiple other factors. They visited the comprehensive pain management clinic at the Nationwide Children’s Hospital. The program in this multidisciplinary clinic involves appointments with a physician on a monthly basis and biweekly periods of physical therapy, acupuncture, psychology and massage and likewise aromatherapy, if needed.

Gloria indicated from their home on the Southeast side that the acupuncture was always beneficial when it was done. She experienced pain that ranged 4 to 10 on a 10-point scale, yet after treatment dropped to 1 to 3 for like two hours. Grace no longer felt the pain for a long period of time. “There are times where it will go as long as 60 minutes," she says, "however the longest I've not experienced pain is like a day." 

The young ladies are two of the numerous patients, old and young, who are  profiting from the accessibility of an ancient practice, in this present day medicinal settings. Acupuncture is a customary Chinese prescription, which includes embedding tiny needles into certain points to stabilize the energy in the body or qi. "Our body whenever it wants to heal or manage pain enters a process, but might take longer than necessary. And acupuncture can animate them to work better," says Jared West, the leader of the Ohio Association of Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine. Recent research has demonstrated that it's particularly viable for those with severe pain, he proceeds, and it's likewise been coordinated into cancer medication and used to help with anxiety, depression, and PTSD, among different sicknesses. 

Campuses in Westerville and on the South Side, Nationwide Children's Acupuncturists take care of about 25 and 50 pain patients in the clinic in a week, says Sharon Wrona, the regulatory chief of comprehensive pain and palliative care services.

Andy Lee, an acupuncturist and a nurse, teaches the general population about what acupuncture is all about while in the pain clinic; she says more people are embracing it.

For a long time, Acupuncture did not have any insurance coverage, which affected its availability. That also is starting to move, due to a limited extent to the progressing opioid crisis. In September, America's Health Insurance Plans received a letter from the National Association of Attorney General requesting that the insurance trade association organize inclusion of non-opioid pain medication like acupuncture. Attorney General of Ohio, Mike DeWine wasn't part of the state lawyers of thirty seven states, who would put his signature on the letter. Dan Tierney, his representative says that DeWine rather started Opioid Reduction InsurerTaskforce in October. 

Due to the ongoing triumph for needle therapy's defenders, the Medicaid program at Ohio will begin covering the training for lower back pain and severe headaches toward the start of 2018. The Ohio Association of Acupuncture is proceeding to push Medicaid to cover it for a more extensive condition, such as post-surgical pain, West said.

The Nationwide Children pain clinic has offered acupuncture since it started operation about 10 years back, Wrona says. Lee added that "I think in the field of pediatric for unending pain, we've generally been more focused on limiting prescriptions and increasing [treatments] like acupuncture, psychology, massage, and physical therapy”. In any case, just similar to drugs, acupuncture doesn't generally work for everybody, or the pain probably won't be totally wiped out. The expectation is that it permits kids to live a normal life.

For Gloria and Grace, the pain continually changes. It's demoralizing, said their mom, in light of the fact that they'll improve for some time and after that their condition will get compounded once more. In any case, after watching them stricken for some months, it brings a lot of relief seeing them get some help. Brandy stays positive since the clinic medications are working, and she trusts that Medicaid-sponsored insurance plans like those her little girls used will keep on covering these packages. She's been guaranteed she wasn't to blame for her girls' conditions, which specialists reveal to her will finally leave, although it is unpredictable when that will occur. 

"It's been an alarming and enthusiastic adventure," Brandy says. "I can't envision what would have been done without these treatments.”

For More information related to Health Acupuncture in the opioid crisis era Read More