More doctors are being advised to recommend acupuncture to relieve pain instead of opioids.
The recommendation comes from The Joint Commission, which works to provide safe and effective healthcare.
Doctors said acupuncture manipulates the nervous system, releasing natural pain-relieving chemicals called endorphins.
Officials with Vanderbilt University Medical Center’s outpatient surgery program said it has an acupuncture treatment of its own.
The technique was developed for people in the military who can’t take opioids and is focused on the ear.
“You don’t have to have a referral. There’s an out-of-pocket fee of $20, which is the most economical in the area I’ve hear of,” said Vanderbilt’s Heather Jackson. “They just set up an appointment for acupuncture. We will see anyone and everyone that would like to seek the treatment out.”
Researches recommend five to eight consecutive acupuncture visits for the best results.
Many insurance companies will cover acupuncture to treat pain, but experts said it is always best to check with your insurance provider before starting treatment.