Acupuncture, a form of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), is one of the oldest therapies known to man. Ideally, acupuncture works on the basis of unblocking locked life energy (Qi). This is because it’s believed that health issues can arise when there’s an interruption in the flow of Qi. By restoring Qi, acupuncture promotes physical relaxation and healing. According to some theories, acupuncture is able to accomplish this through the production of endorphins, natural pain relievers. There are also other theories which suggest that acupuncture works by regulating blood flow and nervous functions. Regardless, there are amazing benefits associated with this TCM. Here are the top 10:
- Stress Management
Psychological stress is known to instigate inflammatory responses such as poor mood, fatigue, and displeasure. These responses are widely related to depression. The advantage is that they can be prevented with acupuncture. By inhibiting inflammation, acupuncture reduces the production and performance of the stress hormone. This means more mental calmness and clarity. Other aspects such as mood and blood pressure are improved too.
- Slows Cognitive Decline
A 2002 study by Maryland University Neurology Department suggests that individuals with Parkinson’s Disease show much improvement with acupuncture. According to the study, acupuncture reduces symptoms like tremor, slowness, anxiety, and walking difficulties. These symptoms are associated with cognitive decline. Based on the finding, there are no clear negative effects of using acupuncture. Therefore, the practice is safe and recommended for Parkinson’s Disease and other cognitive decline conditions.
- Low Back Pain Relief
According to a 2017 report by Annals of Internal Medicine, acupuncture decreases pain intensity along the lower back and surrounding areas. The study focused on two groups of people; one using acupuncture to manage low back pain and the other not using the TCM practice. Of course, the finding was that acupuncture helps you in the short-term to manage pain and should only be used as a temporary solution. In case you are looking for a long-term solution, the study recommends doing acupuncture regularly. The more you do it periodically, the more effective the results are.
- Manages Pregnancy Discomfort
Like physical therapy, acupuncture has shown effectiveness in promoting relief from pregnancy discomfort. By alleviating pain on the lower back, acupuncture helps to balance the extra weight that a pregnant woman is carrying, thus total relaxation. In a controlled study, ear acupuncture is believed to be effective in managing posterior pelvic pain that’s widespread during the first few weeks of pregnancy. This is the time that most pregnant women become anxious and depressed because of the discomforts.
- Boosts Immunity
The body’s natural defense is always stimulated when a foreign material is introduced. Since acupuncture needles are foreign, the body will step up its immunity to try to face the invaders. In this case, the production of immune cells is encouraged and so are defense processes like phagocytosis (engulfing of foreign materials) and lymphocyte proliferation (multiplication of white blood cells). An improved lymphocyte proliferation literary implies enhanced immunity.
- Weight Loss
Studies show that acupuncture done on the ear is widely considered in the West as a way to encourage weight loss. By placing needles around the ear, a section of the hypothalamus is stimulated and this makes you less hungry. By lowering your appetite, you feed less and in the long, you don’t gain weight. So, instead of forcefully depriving yourself food, you can use acupuncture to do it willingly. You may not even realize that you are going slow on food after having several acupuncture sessions. Additionally, acupuncture improved intestinal mobility and lowers anxiety. This is important in promoting weight loss.
- Migraines Relief
Based on a 2016 review by Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews, acupuncture helps significantly in managing migraines (severe headaches) and reducing their frequency. The study involved 4985 patients who are prone to frequent migraines attack and a majority of them responded well to acupuncture. However, the study suggests having acupuncture periodically if you are looking to manage the symptoms for a long period. Since there are is no evidence of harm related to using acupuncture for migraines management, there’s no problem with doing it as much as you are advised.
- Treats Osteoarthritis
Osteoarthritis happens to be the commonest joint disorder around the world. It’s more prevalent among the old, affecting over 85% of men and women aged 75 and above. The good news is that it’s manageable with acupuncture. According to a 2014 study, acupuncture promotes mobility functionality and reduces pain in osteoarthritis patients. The study recommends acupuncture as an alternative to traditional pain relief treatments for osteoarthritis like opiates. Unlike opiates, acupuncture has no major side effects, thus safe.
- Enhance Sleep
As a therapy, acupuncture promotes hormonal changes in the body that are related to sleep. It lowers heart rate and metabolism so as to encourage physical and mental relaxation. For this reason, it’s able to treat insomnia and sleep apnea. According to a random study, acupuncture is more effective in managing sleep conditions than most treatments. In addition, a 2016 analysis shows that it helps to treat sleep disturbances in menopausal women.
- Knee Pain Relief
A recent analysis shows that acupuncture plays an important role in improving physical functioning of the body in the short-term and long-term. By doing so, it’s able to manage knee pain by providing relief for a number of weeks or months depending on the frequency of the practice. This analysis is supported by another review which suggests that acupuncture delays the availability of pain relievers in the body and this boosts their performance. The relievers are able to act for long in the knee region and other painful parts and this brings total relief.
Dr. Hinz and his staff at Cool Springs Chiropractic are proud to offer acupuncture to patients. Acupuncture is one of the most effective therapeutic practices today. If history is anything to go by, then there’s a reason to believe its success. Many generations have used this TCM practice and thus you can be sure ours won’t be the last. Reach out to Cool Springs Chiropractic today to get started!