What are the Healing Benefits of Acupuncture?

 Photo by: Bigstockphoto

Photo by: Bigstockphoto

Acupuncture is a form of alternative healing that utilizes thin needles inserted into the skin to treat a wide range of ailments. This healing technique is part of traditional Chinese medicine or TCM.

In TCM, the body’s life force or qi flows through complex channels called median. When certain medians are blocked, qi cannot flow freely. This leads to chronic pain and sickness. To treat these blocked medians, an acupuncturist will insert thin needles into the superficial layer of the skin. The needles will unblock the body’s channels, allowing qi to flow back again.

Acupuncture is used to treat a myriad of mental and physical disorders including anxiety, depression, irritable bowel syndrome as well as inflammatory diseases. This healing technique is also used to treat Parkinson’s disease. Below are the healing benefits of this ancient healing method:

As Treatment for Migraines and Headaches

Acupuncture is traditionally used to treat all sorts of aches and pains including migraine headaches and tension headaches. And this technique is effective according to modern science!

A group of researchers from the Center for Complementary Medicine at the University of Munich reviewed over 11 studies related to the healing benefits of acupuncture. The researchers analyzed multiple clinical trials involving acupuncture sessions conducted to thousands of patients suffering from mild to severe headaches. After the review, the researchers concluded that acupuncture “could be a valuable non-pharmacological tool in patients with frequent chronic tension-type headaches.”

Eases Chronic Pain

Acupuncture is an effective treatment for chronic neck, back, and knee pain. It is also used to treat arthritic and rheumatic pains. A study conducted by scientists at the University Medical Center of Berlin found that acupuncture effectively reduced chronic back pain compared to no treatment at all.

In a separate study done by Memorial Sloan-Kettering Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics researchers, they found that acupuncture is an effective treatment for chronic pain of the back, neck, and shoulder as well as arthritic pain and headache. The researchers also noted that “more than just a placebo effect, therefore it’s a reasonable referral option for doctors.”

Treats Insomnia

Chinese scientists at the Beijing University of Chinese Medicine found that acupuncture is an effective treatment for insomnia. They also found that acupuncture enhances the effects of sleeping pills and herbal remedies to help with sleep, allowing patients to better night’s sleep compared to taking medications or herbs alone. And unlike sleeping pills and herbal supplements, acupuncture does not cause unwanted side effects and other discomforts.

Speeds up Chemotherapy Recovery

Cancer survivors are more likely to recover quickly from chemotherapy treatments by supplementing their recovery with acupuncture. Multiple studies confirm that acupuncture strengthens the immune system and even boosts platelet count!

In one randomized trial, scientists discovered that acupuncture actually prevented the decrease in healthy cells after chemotherapy and radiation therapy!  Patients also reported feeling less pain from treatments after undergoing acupuncture, noting that the treatment helped them improve the quality of their lives. Some patients also noted that acupuncture reduced adverse reaction to chemotherapy like severe nausea and vomiting.

Boosts Mental Health

Did you know that acupuncture helps delay brain aging? It reduces the risk of cognitive decline, boosting memory and cognitive functions of the brain! Some studies also noted that acupuncture could be used to treat Parkinson’s disease and other age-related diseases that cause cognitive decline.

A separate study by the Department of Neurology at the University Of Maryland School Of Medicine noted that 85% of patients suffering from Parkinson’s disease saw improvements of individual symptoms after going through regular acupuncture treatments. These symptoms range from tremors to slowness, pain, depression, difficulty in sleeping, and anxiety

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