Acupuncture is a popular traditional medicine wherein thin metal needles are inserted into exact locations on the body to unblock energy channels in an effort to improve mental and physical conditions. The locations where the needles are placed are picked based on a network of passages for energies called meridians. The Chinese have been using this method for a number of illnesses for thousands of years. Traditionally its effect is to balance the body’s yin and yang to achieve healing.
Western medicine has a different view of how acupuncture works. The framework works around the body’s nervous system and the needles activate the body’s response accordingly to the stimuli. Using needles, the body is signaled to release substances such as endorphins, immune system responses, neurohormones, and others. By releasing these chemicals, they are able to control how the body reacts to pain and promote overall physical and mental well-being. Research has also indicated acupuncture also influences other functions of the nervous system that affects blood pressure, temperature, and other things.
Please remember to always consult a qualified professional when seeking medical advice.
Here are some common conditions that could be alleviated with acupuncture:
1. Sinus Issues
Acupuncture has been known to relieve issues of the sinuses which may include symptoms like headache, dizziness, fever, allergies, and others. It’s still unclear to science how acupuncture works in relieving sinusitis but there are studies on how it helps with allergic rhinitis.
Similar to other issues with the sinuses, it involves inflammation of the mucus membranes and other symptoms include congestion, runny nose, and headache. A 2014 study shows, through randomized controlled trials, that acupuncture actually helps with sinuses. A year later, a study with relatively small samples, shows that acupuncture may have an advantage over antihistamines in addressing sinus issues.
2. Gastrointestinal Disorders
Food and other things we take into our body may chemically and biologically have adverse effects on our gastrointestinal tracts. It may result in diarrhea, bloating, constipation, and other digestive discomforts. With so many factors that can cause all of these illnesses, acupuncture can help treat a wide array of gastrointestinal disorders. For example, Toni Bennalley, a medical professional and a licensed practitioner for acupuncture treatments in Peoria, AZ, believes in a holistic approach to alleviating many of the illnesses that plague our health. This comprehensive method of addressing the body, mind, and soul can provide a greater level of healing for the patients and the communities of Goodyear and Peoria, Arizona.
3. Mental Illnesses
Mental illnesses, particularly depression, are common among adults across different demographics. There is a widely accepted belief that acupuncture helps people suffering from certain mental distress such as depression and anxiety. A study was conducted with 477 subjects included in the meta-analysis. Although it didn’t give concrete results to acupuncture’s efficacy in treating mental anguish, it supported its effects in helping treat those who are suffering. It was seen that people with higher severity level in the Hamilton rating scale for depression (HAMD) or Beck Depression Inventory (BDI), showed promising results in reducing their effects consequently their severity rating.
4. Respiratory Distress
Respiratory issues can be debilitating or can progressively become so if not treated effectively. The lungs are responsible for loading our cells with oxygen which is delivered through our bloodstream. If we don’t get enough oxygen, it won’t be long before major organs start collapsing. Acupuncture can stimulate blood flow which helps in transporting oxygen into the rest of the body. It helps dilate airways, reduce inflammation, and improve immunity. It can also relax the muscles allowing the body to absorb oxygen efficiently without the need for invasive treatments and introducing heavy pharmaceuticals to the body.
5. Dental Problems
Dentistry also benefits from acupuncture to treat a range of diseases and facilitating dental treatments. This is particularly used for analgesia associated with dental procedures, along with managing varied disorders such as chronic oral-facial and myofascial pain syndromes, temporomandibular joint disorder, prominent gag reflex, and dental anxiety. Many patients show positive responses to acupuncture, though, more studies are needed to show its active effects on the oral health of the person.
6. Joint Pains
One of the common conditions that acupuncture is popular for is in treating arthritis. They are accepted by many experts as natural painkillers and work wonders for those managing pain in their knees, hips, neck, and lower back. The American College of Rheumatology approves acupuncture in treating pain in the hand, knee, and hip. There are also reports of effects in treating rheumatoid arthritis (RA), Fibromyalgia, Ankylosing spondylitis (AS), and Gout but more studies are needed.
In managing pain and attaining overall well-being, acupuncture is one of the most promising alternative methods out there. Although further research is still needed, it’s a great alternative treatment and a great way to maintain our body’s energy in balance. Combined with a healthy lifestyle and mindset, it can boost your overall health and help you fend off illnesses and diseases.