We’ve mentioned this before, but now even more research has emerged supporting the fact that acupuncture can be so powerful at relieving pain, it may even take the place of opioids in many patients.
In fact, the Joint Commission (an organization that accredits and certifies nearly 21,000 health care organizations and programs in the United States while developing performance standards that address crucial elements of operation, such as patient care, medication safety, infection control and consumer rights) recently released a statement that explained one of the new elements of pain . management performance, “requires that organizations provide non-pharmacologic pain treatment modalities.”
This includes acupuncture. But what does it mean, exactly?
Essentially, organizations are now required to provide non-pharmacologic (aka non prescription) pain treatment modalities relevant to its patient population and assessed needs of the patient. Noninvasive treatments, like acupuncture, can be used as a complementary and in some cases, in place of opioid medication in many circumstances. Thus potentially reducing the amount of people prescribed painkillers — which . is great news.
The Joint Commission also noted how important it is to have non-pharmacologic pain treatment modalities available for patients who refuse opioid treatment, or are deemed ineligible. This population, including recovering addicts, may be able to experience relief without prescription pills.
Aside from acupuncture, they write that recommended non-pharmacologic strategies, “include, but are not limited to transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation, physical modalities (i.e.: acupuncture therapy, chiropractic therapy, osteopathic manipulative treatment, massage therapy, and physical therapy) relaxation therapy, music therapy, aromatherapy, cognitive behavioral therapy, etc.”
While supportive evidence varies by modality and specialty, more research is consistently supportive.
The bottom line? The Joint Commission states, “our standards do not mandate that any specific complementary options are provided, but allow organizations to determine what modality(s) to offer.”