TOP TEN BENEFITS OF ACUPUNCTURE
As far as I am concerned, acupuncture is magic and can help with just about anything! But there are some conditions in particular, that acupuncture has been proven to provide substantial, documented results. Here are the top ten from my own practice:
- Back pain -- The benefits of acupuncture for those suffering from pain have been well studied. Back pain in particular responds well. I find that most back pain is caused by repetitive stress and muscle tension. Most patients feel an improvement after one session, and can achieve lasting results with regular treatment.
- Fatigue -- Fatigue is almost always caused by a combination of factors. Hormone health (adrenals and thyroid in particular) vitamin and mineral deficiencies, food quality, sleep quality, work habits and stress levels all contribute. Acupuncture is one of the best ways to treat this multi-layered issue. Combined with herbs and nutritional counseling it is one of the best ways to improve your overall energy levels.
- Insomnia -- In Chinese medicine, we view insomnia as a “spirit that is not rooted”. Acupuncture -- and points along the heart meridian in particular -- can ground the spirit and improve sleep. Acupuncture increases the production of neurotransmitters associated with relaxation, and in a study of almost 4,000 patients, acupuncture increased sleep duration better than medications
- Immune system -- Chinese medicine views the immune system as an invisible “shield” of energy that runs just below your skin called Wei Qi. Acupuncture supports the wei qi, protecting against infections and environmental factors. Studies show that acupuncture increases the number of white blood cells which destroy bacteria and viruses. In addition, stress directly impacts immunity, and acupuncture alleviates stress. If you are treating stress you are also treating Immunity.
- Stress -- Chronic Stress affects every system in your body -- From your immune system to your digestive system to your hormones to your heart. One of the best things you can do for your overall health is alleviate the physical, emotional and chemical effects of stress. Studies show a measurable reduction in the amount of stress hormones in patients that receive acupuncture treatments. (Read Don't Stress Out About Flu Season)
- Fertility -- A body in balance navigates conception and pregnancy with ease. Acupuncture, herbs, and nutritional counseling help achieve that balance. Stress factors in here too -- when your nervous system is in “fight or flight” your reproductive system is on standby, so relaxation is an important part of the process. It has also been shown to be effective partner for IUI and IVF treatment-- recent studies show a 26% increase in conception rates when acupuncture was used in conjunction with western fertility treatments.
- Women’s health -- Acupuncture regulates cycles and alleviates cramps, eases PMS, improves circulation and balances your hormones. It also treats mood swings, irritability, and water retention! It is hands down one of the best methods of treating menopause symptoms. It alleviates many of the symptoms of pregnancy, can turn a breech baby (with moxa!) and even help to induce labor!
- Digestive issues -- Stress, poor diet, lack of sleep and overuse of antibiotics can all severely impact our digestion, which in turn affects everything. Research is now showing that almost every bodily function -- from digestion, to immunity, to mood and brain function are all impacted by the health of our gut flora. Acupuncture supports the digestive system and helps “transform and transport” the nutrients we need for overall health.
- Allergies -- Allergies are an overreaction of your immune response. Acupuncture is very effective at calming that overreaction. In as few as 12 acupuncture sessions, seasonal allergy sufferers experienced reduced symptoms and dependence on antihistamines. It is best to start treatments before the allergy season hits, so plan to start a few months in advance of the season.
- Depression -- Acupuncture can be very effective at moving stuck energy, and elevating the “feel good’ chemicals in the brain. A new study showed Acupuncture and Chinese herbs were proven to be as effective as antidepressants. And with zero side effects!