By Kristi L. Nelson

Knoxville News Sentinel

Posted February 20, 2011 at 11:31 p.m.

When Eric Amburgey started experiencing daily back pain last year, he could have gone to a pain clinic and gotten a narcotics prescription.

But as a recovering addict with years of hard-won sobriety under his belt, Amburgey knew all too well that could lead him down a slippery slope.

Still, he waited until his back locked up and he was begging for relief before trying ‘something I really didn’t believe in’ — acupuncture.  This form of pill-free pain relief really works!

After 12 treatments over six months, Amburgey is pain-free — and has been for nine months.

‘I don’t understand how you can stick needles here and there … and get rid of the pain,’ Amburgey said, laughing. ‘I just know that it works.’

As marketing director of Blount County’s Cornerstone of Recovery, an addiction recovery center, Amburgey went to Cornerstone’s ‘sister company,’ Cornerstone Integrative Health Associates, for treatment.

The Alcoa practice offers different types of acupuncture, therapeutic massage and stress reduction techniques to help people manage chronic pain, including reflexology, which uses points on the feet, and Rubenfeld Synergy, a process that combines dialogue with light touch to help release emotions. It came about as a companion for Cornerstone, whose clients — recovering addicts — needed to avoid narcotics even when faced with painful situations like surgery or injuries.

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