Health Benefits of Acupuncture
While the thought of acupuncture can seem either frightening or mysterious to some, the treatment has been used for thousands of years and can help you find relief in many different ways.
To help you better understand the effectiveness of this treatment, we’ll explore all the many benefits of acupuncture while answering the most common questions people have about this treatment.
What is Acupuncture?
Acupuncture is a form of alternative medicine that involves inserting very fine, sterile needles into certain points throughout the body. The treatment, which stems from Ancient Chinese Medicine, has been used for thousands of years to treat a variety of ailments and conditions.
How Does It Work?
Acupuncture treatment involves fine, sterile needles being inserted into various acupuncture points – also known as meridian points – located around the body based on the Chinese energy pathways.
The insertion of needles helps to stimulate nerves, muscles, and connective tissue, and release chemicals in the body that provide relief from pain and other ailments. By stimulating these points, this helps to improve your body’s overall function while triggering its natural healing process.
What Are the Main Benefits of Acupuncture?
There are so many benefits to be experienced from acupuncture treatment. However, there are a few key health benefits that that are the most powerful.
This stimulation of acupuncture points releases endorphins – also known as your body’s natural pain-killing chemicals. As you may have guessed, this helps to relieve chronic pain throughout the body.
Acupuncture can help treat pain throughout various parts of the body, including the back, neck, shoulder, and hips, but it also offers relief from neuromuscular issues. It can also help with pain caused by arthritis, carpal tunnel syndrome, and sciatica.
Stress and Anxiety Relief
Along with endorphins, acupuncture helps your body release oxytocin, a hormone that helps and regulates the parasympathetic nervous system. This helps you feel more relaxed and at ease almost immediately.
Reduced Headaches and Migraines
In cases where medication has proven ineffective, acupuncture can help patients suffering from chronic headaches and migraines with much-needed relief by preventing onset and reducing their frequency.
Boosted Immune System
A compromised immune system makes you more susceptible to disease and illness. Acupuncture can help strengthen your immune system by increasing red and white and T-cell counts and enhancing humoral and cellular immunity.
What Conditions Does it Help Treat?
Besides those mentioned above, acupuncture can also help alleviate symptoms of the following conditions:
- Injuries and chronic pain
- Carpal Tunnel
- Digestive conditions
- Neurological conditions
- Respiratory conditions
- Sinus conditions
What Can I Expect from the Treatment?
First, your Registered Acupuncturist will sterilize all the areas that will be treated before inserting fine single-use, sterile needles into the various meridian points required to treat your condition.
This can be anywhere on the body, including the neck, back, chest, stomach, and even hands and face. Your acupuncturist will look at your symptoms and medical history before deciding which acupuncture points need to be targeted with your treatment.
These needles will be left in for a certain amount of time, and you may feel a warm, tingling sensation and possibly slight pressure. Many patients describe the treatment as pleasurable, relaxing, and sometimes even energizing.
Does It Hurt?
One of the most commonly asked questions about acupuncture is whether or not the treatment is painful. While the idea of having small needles inserted into the skin sounds painful, it is actually the complete opposite.
Since the needles used are incredibly fine, most patients will only experience a small amount of discomfort in sensitive areas. However, many patients do not report any discomfort at all, so it really depends on the individual patient.
Who is a Good Candidate for Acupuncture?
While anyone can benefit from acupuncture treatments, if any of the following criteria applies to you, this is a good indication that acupuncture might be a good fit.
- You have chronic pain or migraines or another chronic condition mentioned earlier
- You have already tried traditional treatments and medication but have not experienced any relief
- You are open to exploring alternatives to conventional treatment options
- You are looking to optimize your overall health
Patients who should refrain from acupuncture treatments or seek guidance from a physician first include those with:
- Immune disorders
- Skin disorders or infections at the needle site
- Metal allergies
- Bleeding disorders and/or prescriptions for blood thinners
When Will I Notice Results?
While some patients may experience results right away, others may require several treatments before they start to experience the full results.
The results experienced from acupuncture are unique to each patient and depend on a variety of factors, such as:
- The severity of your condition/symptoms
- The frequency of treatment
- Stress levels
As you can see, acupuncture is not something that should be feared, but embraced. With so many benefits from pain relief to reduced stress and anxiety, acupuncture may just be the natural remedy you’ve been searching for.
If you are considering acupuncture treatments to help with a particular ailment or condition, consult with a Registered Acupuncturist who can help you determine if acupuncture is the right course of treatment for you and your needs.