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Moms First: Replacing opioids with acupuncture

WSBT 22

The current opioid crisis across the country has many looking for alternative medicines for pain management.

Some experts are now saying that acupuncture could replace opioids.

Stanford University researchers did various studies and concluded that acupuncture can reduce and delay the need for opioids after some surgeries.

For knee surgery, in particular, they found acupuncture for pain was just as effective as opioids.

"The American Physicians College is recommending acupuncture as a preliminary response to manage pain better in the body and it works great,” said Natalie Kilheeny a board certified, trained and licensed Acupuncturist at Beyond Zen in Granger.

Kilheeny says acupuncture is a natural healer.

"Acupuncture is a very relaxing experience most people don't feel the needles at all my patients fall asleep on the table,” she said.

Acupuncture involves tiny needles inserted into specific points on the skin to treat pain and a variety of other conditions.

"We treat the whole person not just the symptoms we work to treat the root cause of the person's illness and the mind-body connection,” Kilheeny said.

Some emergency rooms are reducing painkillers prescribed and instead doing acupuncture and other natural therapies.

"Acupuncture they say blocks the pain receptors in the brain that stimulate pain and instead stimulate or natural endorphins in our brain to alleviate and better manage pain,” Kilheeny said.

Experts recommend when finding an acupuncturist, make sure they are licensed and board certified.

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