What’s inside this article: A look at acupuncture treatment, including its uses and the current science to support it. Includes 19 benefits of acupuncture. Are you ready to add treatments to your wellness routine?
Acupuncture is a component of traditional Chinese Medicine and has been used for thousands of years.
It’s a healing method where a licensed practitioner places super-thin needles into the skin.
The needles are placed along pathways, known as meridians, within the body. Energy, called Qi (pronounced chee), flows through these meridians. However, they can get blocked, preventing energy from flowing freely through the body. The acupuncture needles help release these blockages.
Is The Meridian System Real?
The Meridian System is viewed as an energetic distribution network and isn’t recognized in traditional Western Medicine. However, scientists have discovered microstructures (requiring a microscope to see) in the body, termed the primo-vascular system, which is congruent with the meridian system.
This means, though more research is necessary (and in progress), the meridian system appears to be part of our physical anatomy and not just a spiritual concept.
Early research shows that when acupuncturists puncture these microstructures, they release stem cells that flow to the organs to repair damaged cell structures.
There is a lot of skepticism in Western culture about the validity of the meridian system, but current research is pushing the boundaries of previously accepted anatomy.
It appears the meridian system is, in scientific terms, a real anatomical structure in our bodies.
Acupuncture is, in Western culture, considered alternative medicine, or CAM (complementary and alternative medicine). Which often means healing techniques contradict the science of how the human body works.
But, emerging research is showing this may not be the case. We don’t fully understand the science of how the body works yet.
Acupuncture is, however, approved by the FDA, and there are safety standards in place for acupuncture needle use and safety.
Benefits of Acupuncture
Here are some benefits of acupuncture treatment. Maybe it’s time for more people to consider adding acupuncture to their self-care routines.
- Treats gut issues. Acupuncture helps heal digestive issues by reducing stomach and pancreas inflammation, boosting digestive functions.
- Improves mood. Acupuncture helps balance neurotransmitters in the brain, influencing mood and behavior.
- Helps you sleep better. Studies show people suffering from insomnia sleep better after acupuncture treatments. Research also shows people receiving acupuncture treatment fall asleep more quickly.
- Reduces migraines and headaches. Research supports the idea that weekly acupuncture sessions lessen the frequency of migraines and ease headache symptoms.
- Treats Chronic Pain. Chronic pain is the number one reason people in the United States seek acupuncture treatment. Many peer-reviewed studies show the efficacy of acupuncture for the treatment of chronic pain.
- Weight loss. In Chinese Medicine, weight gain is thought to be an imbalance in the body. Acupuncture can help reset the nervous system, which can help you metabolize food better and lessen hunger cues.
- Strengthens the immune system. Research shows acupuncture treatments strengthen the body’s immune response, help balance immune cells, and provide an anti-inflammatory effect.
- Lowers Anxiety. Acupuncture is clinically proven to improve symptoms of anxiety and nervousness.
- Improves PMS Symptoms. Research found acupuncture treatments successfully treat symptoms of PMS in nearly 78% of women (compared to just 5% reported in the control group).
- Treats Hypertension. Acupuncture therapy can significantly reduce blood pressure in patients with hypertension. There were no adverse reactions. Hence, acupuncture can dramatically improve the quality of life of hypertensive patients.
Some other possible benefits of acupuncture (We are still awaiting more research):
- treats acne
- treats PCOS and infertility
- helps manage diabetes
- reduces pain associated with cancer treatment
- helps treat schizophrenia
- works as a cessation method for smoking and alcohol dependence
- reduces pain during labor
- treats bells palsy
- boosts energy levels
Acupuncture is not a magic cure-all treatment. However, there are many benefits of acupuncture treatment that are backed by science. That’s why it’s a worthwhile treatment option for many people.
Of course, you should always speak with a professional about treatments and symptoms. But, there’s a reason people have used acupuncture for over 2000 years. If you are ready to try acupuncture, make sure you book with a qualified acupuncturist.