What Are The Benefits Of Acupuncture?

Acupuncture originates from China and has been practiced there for thousands of years. Although there are records of acupuncture being used hundreds of years ago in Europe, it was during the second half of the twentieth century it began to spread rapidly in Western Europe, the United States and Canada. Acupuncture involves the insertion of very thin needles through the patient’s skin at specific points on the body – the needles are inserted to various depths. We are not sure how acupuncture works scientifically. However, we do know that it does have some therapeutic benefits, including pain relief and alleviation from nausea caused by chemotherapy.

According to traditional Chinese medical theory, acupuncture points are located on meridians through which gi vital energy runs. There is no histological, anatomical or scientific proof that these meridians or acupuncture points exist. Acupuncture remains controversial among Western medical doctors and scientists. Creating case studies that use proper scientific controls is difficult because of the invasive nature of acupuncture – a clinical study involves a placebo (sham product) compared to the targeted treatment. It is very hard to devise a sham acupuncture control that one can compare to proper acupuncture. While some studies have concluded that acupuncture offers similar benefits to a patient as a placebo, others have indicated that there are some real benefits. This article in a peer-reviewed British Medical Journal explains that the principles of acupuncture are firmly grounded in science, and you don’t need Chinese philosophy either to make it work, or to practice it.

According to WHO (World Health Organization) acupuncture is effective for treating 28 conditions, while evidence indicates it may have an effective therapeutic value for many more. People with tension headaches and/or migraines may find acupuncture to be very effective in alleviating their symptoms, according to a study carried out at the Technical University of Munich, Germany. Another study at The University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center found that twice weekly acupuncture treatments relieve debilitating symptoms of xerostomia – severe dry mouth – among patients treated with radiation for head and neck cancer.

 

Ten key benefits of acupuncture include:

1. Improved Health and Quality of Life
This is achieved because acupuncture balances the body’s energy systems. Our life styles, thought patterns and diets create imbalance in the body (andemotional pain). Acupuncture helps to balance these energy systems through acupuncture points. These points are gateways to the body’s energy flow. They help to take the “load” off of excess and redirect that Qi (loosely translated as energy) to the areas in your body that are deficient.

2. Stress Reduction
This is also accomplished by balancing your body’s energy. A little stress is actually good for you, but most people today experience far too much of it. Experience these high stress levels day after day makes it very difficult for your body to relax and balance; regular acupuncture treatments are a powerful way to enable this relaxation and balance.

3. Pain Reduction
Helping with chronic and acute pain is one of the most common applications of acupuncture. Arthritis, neck pain, back pain, menstrual pain, carpal tunnel, plantar fasciitis, joint sprains & strains, digestive pain etc. are very commonly helped by acupuncture. If you experience migraine, cluster and other headaches you can often find relief right there on the table. The results can be amazing.

4. Improved and Faster Recovery from Injury, Illness and Surgery
This can be accomplished using acupuncture to increase circulation, reduce inflammation and reduce scaring. “Weekend warrior” types of injuries are known to heal much faster with acupuncture. Many professional sports teams have staff acupuncturists.

5. Emotional Balance
Achieving emotional balance can be both the primary focus of acupuncture treatment and is also a positive “side effect” when you use acupuncture for other reasons. Depression, anxiety, frustration, and worry are a few emotional imbalances treated. Acupuncture points have a physical and emotional aspect to their function and most times both of those aspects are accessed during the acupuncture treatment.

6. Respiratory Health
This can be very effectively achieved with acupuncture! Allergies, asthma, sinusitis, rhinitis are conditions that are positively impacted with acupuncture everyday. Being aware of indoor pollutants – cleaning chemicals, out gassing of plastics & fabrics, molds etc. and taking steps to reduce them can also reduce respiratory imbalances. Nasal irrigation is also very helpful.

7. Insomnia Relief
Insomnia and other sleep issues are also very commonly addressed by acupuncture. Since insomnia and sleep disturbances can be caused from stress, injury, pain and emotional imbalance, good sleep can also be a positive “side effect” when acupuncture is used for other primary reasons. An acupuncture treatment can easily be focused on insomnia and sleep disturbances.

8. Strengthening Your Immune System
This can be accomplished through balancing your body’s energy systems with acupuncture. Stress, illness, environmental toxins, and allergies, are just a few of the causes of a weakened immune system.

9. Premenstrual (PMS) and Menopausal Symptom Relief
I would venture to say that every experienced acupuncturist has helped with PMS and relieving menopausal symptoms. These conditions are very common, of course, and acupuncture is very effective in treating the symptoms associated with them. Headaches, cramping, sleep disturbances, mood swings, night sweats, cycle length and duration, and pimples are just a few of the common symptoms.

10. Reduction of Side Effects of Chemo and Radiation Therapies
This can also be a very powerful benefit of acupuncture. Please head towww.cancer.gov and input “acupuncture” in their search box for much more detailed information including studies that have been conducted showing acupuncture’s effectiveness. The side effects acupuncture can help include (but are not limited to) coughing, fever, anxiousness, nausea, depression, night sweats, dry mouth, pain, diarrhea, and constipation. Improved quality of life is, without a doubt, experienced by every cancer patient I have treated.

If you know of anyone who may also wonder what some key benefits of acupuncture are and who may be helped by it, please do pass this overview on to them!

 

The benifits of acupuncture are waiting for you in our London, Paddington store where our specialists will help you!