Have you heard about the many benefits of acupuncture? Acupuncture originated over 2,500 years ago in China and is a complete medical protocol that is used to correct imbalances in the body. Acupuncture has been used to treat conditions such as pain, emotional issues, digestive issues, obesity and neurological problems, to name a few. Acupuncture involves the insertion of very fine needles in specific areas of your face and body in order to alleviate symptoms and treat a number of conditions. If you’re curious about the benefits of acupuncture, keep reading below to learn more.
If you frequently have trouble sleeping like many of us do, acupuncture is one of the many ways to help yourself get some rest. Acupuncture might seem like a really invasive treatment in order to get some shut-eye, but for those who have chronic sleep problems, it’s a drug-free way to enhance your quality of sleep and help you stay asleep. The University of Maryland Medical Center indicated that there are reports that acupuncture procedures had a nearly 90% success rate. But that’s not all, there are plenty of other benefits of acupuncture!
Headaches and migraines are another common problem for people, especially with the hustle and bustle of our busy lives. Whether you experience tension headaches or migraines, Rodale News reviewed 22 studies which found that “regular acupuncture therapy was effective at treating tension headaches and migraines from becoming a problem and that it was an effective treatment for existing headaches.”
Anxiety is yet another very common and very serious problem that plagues many of us today. There are various types of anxiety, such as generalized anxiety disorder (GAD), panic disorder, social anxiety disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD). In Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), anxiety is viewed as an imbalance in the heart and kidney, thus anxiety is treated by treating acupuncture points around the heart, kidney, spleen and ear. A comprehensive literature review published in the 2011 issue of CNS Neuroscience and Therapeutics found that acupuncture was comparable to cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT).
Clinical depression is estimated to effect one in five people in their lifetime, according to PsychCentral.com. While those numbers may be disconcerting, there are many different types of treatments available, including acupuncture. According to TCM, depression is seen as a problem with the circulation of Qi in the body. As a result, acupuncture to treat depression often focuses on points on the hands and feet. In a study published by PLOS Medicine in 2013, researchers found that acupuncture was just as effective as humanistic counseling at 3 months when compared to usual care alone.
5. Chronic Pain
Having chronic pain can clearly make life very difficult. One of the great benefits of acupuncture is that when all other remedies fail to provide you with relief, acupuncture can gradually help alleviate pain. Those who experience chronic back pain, pain in muscles and joints or persistent headaches usually see improvement in their symptoms. In a study published in a May 2007 issue of Archives of Internal Medicine, participants who received even simulated acupuncture (where pressure was placed on certain body points without any needles) found 15% greater improvement in their symptoms.
For the ladies who are dealing with infertility, Dr. Daniel Hsu suggests trying acupuncture in addition to medical care (depending on the cause of the infertility). He indicates that acupuncture is often done before and after undergoing in vitro fertilization as it decreases uterine contractions, which can often cause IVF to fail. It also helps increase blood flow to the uterus, which can possibly help the embryo to take.
7. Weight Loss
It seems like there are always new diets, workouts and teas that claim to help us lose weight, so why should acupuncture be any different? Well, the reasons a person becomes overweight is due to a number of reasons, including imbalances in hormones, slow metabolism, overeating, a sedentary lifestyle and poor nutrition. Acupuncture seeks to address these issues with a multifaceted approach that corrects disturbances in energy, regulates hormones and increases tone in the stomach, so that you’re better able to tell you’re full. Since you’re addressing so many causes, adding acupuncture with a healthy diet and exercise is a good way to enhance your health and lose weight.
I started doing acupuncture for a variety of things and while I had really bad allergies pretty much all of my life, I accidentally discovered that it can also help with allergies. It was the only thing that truly helped my allergies without having to rely on decongestants on a daily basis. Although I experienced this as an unexpected side effect, you can do acupuncture specifically for allergies. WebMD cites a study published in the American Journal of Chinese Medicine where 26 people with hay fever found a reduction in symptoms in all 26 participants. A follow-up study with 72 people found that more than half of the participants eliminated symptoms in as few as two treatments.
Another health benefit of acupuncture is that it can help with skin conditions like acne, eczema, rashes and psoriasis. The majority of the benefits of acupuncture we’ve discussed thus far has dealt with mostly internal conditions. However, it can do a world of good for conditions on the outside as well. Prevention.com comments that most over-the-counter acne treatments only suppress the expression of imbalances in the body, whereas acupuncture treats the cause. Acupuncturist Mary Sabo notes that when you treat acne with acupuncture, it’s a very involved process which typically involves a change in diet and possibly herbs in addition to acupuncture to correct what has caused acne in the first place.
There are many other benefits of doing acupuncture but it would be difficult to cover something with such a rich history here. If you’ve ever thought about trying acupuncture, I encourage you to try it. The needles used in acupuncture are very thin and if you can handle getting a piercing, these needles will mostly likely not bother you at all. It’s very relaxing and I usually fall asleep when I get it done. Have you ever had acupuncture done before? What was your experience?
Sources: emedicinehealth.com, wral.com, oprah.com, huffingtonpost.com, huffingtonpost.com, medicalnewstoday.com, medicinenet.com, rodalenews.com, webmd.com, drweil.com, ncbi.nlm.nih.gov, health.harvard.edu, umm.edu, psychcentral.com, plosmedicine.org, psychcentral.com webmd.com, prevention.com