First practised more than 2500 years ago, acupuncture has evolved tremendously over time. Today, approximately 2.3 million acupuncture treatments (1) are carried out each year in the U.K., thanks to the numerous benefits associated with it. From your head to your toes, there is no part of the body that cannot be affected by the benefits of acupuncture.
Acupuncture’s Affect on the Brain
From getting rid of migraines to reducing the production of stress hormones, acupuncture has a significant impact on the brain. According to a recent study (2) completed at Georgetown University Medical Center in Washington DC, acupuncture can reduce the perception of pain in the brain, stress, and possibly even depression and anxiety. This often leaves patients with a greater sense of peace. In addition, doctors at the University of Arizona have determined that acupuncture is effective for the treatment of gait and balance disorders in patients diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease. Finally, acupuncture can improve sleep (3) by enhancing the production of the neurotransmitters with sleep and relaxation.
From postoperative pain to menstrual cramps, acupuncture can greatly decrease discomfort. (4) According to a 5 year study by the National Institutes of Health, (5) it has also been proven to relieve pain associated with fibromyalgia, rheumatoid arthritis, osteoarthritis, as well as chronic back, knee, neck, and shoulder pain. Finally, it can relieve pain caused by dental work, sciatica, and tennis elbow. (6)
Acupuncture has also been found to be highly effective for back pain of various kinds. For more information, see our article on back pain here.
Help With Allergies
According to guidelines released by the Academy of Otolarynlogy, acupuncture can help relieve seasons allergies, as well as allergic rhinitis. (7) It has also demonstrated an ability to relieve the symptoms linked to asthma.
Relief from Gastric Distress
By restoring the flow of balanced energy through the body, acupuncture also has a powerful impact on the digestive system. Conditions it has been proven to help include nausea, morning sickness, constipation, diarrhea, bloating, and gas. (8) In addition, acupuncture can relief dysentery (a parasitic infection that results in inflammation of the intestines), acute and chronic gastritis, and peptic ulcer. Finally, when 10 sessions are completed in the course of one month, it treated acid reflux disease and relieved heartburn better than increasing the sufferer’s medication by regulating acid secretion and speeding up the process of digestion. (3)
Improves Cardiovascular Health
Thanks to acupuncture’s ability to decrease stress levels , it can also help lower high blood pressure. UCLA researchers (9) also have determined that acupuncture is particularly beneficial for patients with heart failure because it can improve heart function.
Acupuncture’s Impact on the Reproductive System
According to a report by Tel Aviv University, acupuncture increases conception rates by 26 percent, when it is used in conjunction with Western fertility treatments. Acupuncture can enhance fertility by decreasing stress, balancing the endocrine system, and increasing the flow of blood to the reproductive organs. (10) In addition, acupuncture has been shown to reduce the severity and frequency of hot flashes by helping regulate the body’s temperature. (3)
Multiple studies have found that acupuncture can help patients lose more weight when used in conjunction with traditional weight loss methods, such as increased exercise and changes in diet. According to Traditional Chinese Medicine, excess weight gain is the result of an imbalance in the body due to a malfunction of the liver organ systems or spleen. As a result, professionals focus on the endocrine system to decrease water retention and the kidneys to stimulate hormonal and nerve rebalance. They also target the thyroid gland and spleen to enhance hormonal rebalancing. (11)
With such a large number of benefits, If you have never considered acupuncture, now is the time to do so.