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What Does Acupuncture Treat? Points, Benefits & Needles

Acupuncture is an ancient Chinese medicine that involves the insertion of very thin needles into the skin tissue. Chinese medicine suggests that energy flows through specific paths known as meridians, in the body. It goes ahead to suggest that people fall sick when the flow of this energy is changed hence causing an imbalance.

In an attempt to bring back the balance of energy flow, very thin needles are inserted into specific points, called acupoints along the meridians. In the recent past, Acupuncture has enjoyed much favor due to its many ‘alleged’ benefits in the body. This article sheds more light on those benefits and the way they occur.

Rheumatoid Arthritis

Needle for acupuncture on spa stones on table close up

This is a type of arthritis that causes debilitating pain and swelling of the joints. It is usually known to affect mainly the knees amongst other joints. When this happens, mobility and other physical activities are affected. It is believed that when an acupuncturist inserts the needles, energy flow is brought back to balance. This in turn leads to the breakdown of spasms that inhibit the smooth flow of blood and lymphatic fluid. At the same time, the balance of energy flow triggers the release of natural opioids such as endorphins that causes pain relief.

Headaches and Migraines

Headaches are a common problem amongst a good number of people. This is because of the many hectic activities that we are involved in such as a busy day at work. We can go ahead with daily routines and not be bothered by headaches. However, migraines are a different case. Migraines are very painful headaches that persist over a long period. The good news is that they can be treated alongside other medications, with acupuncture. Upon insertion of the needles, the body releases the feel-good hormones, endorphins that cause relief from the pain. It is a better choice over the pain relief drugs that come with several side effects in the long term.

Lower Back Pain

Lower back pain is a common problem amongst the majority of people, especially those involved in daily physical activities. If you work at a place where you stand for too long, you are likely to suffer from back lower back pain. Spending too much leaning forward in front of a computer can also cause lower back pain. Lower back pain can also be a result of slouching at the sink when cleaning dishes. The majority of people who seek acupuncture are people with lower back pain. Relief from lower back pain through acupuncture comes from the balance of energy flow along with the central nervous system. It is also a result of the release of natural opioids such as endorphins and dopamine.

Complementary Medicine

As previously mentioned, acupuncture is mainly used to fight different types of acute and chronic pains. It is therefore fair to say that acupuncture is a great replacement for pain relief drugs. Acupuncture is also used to complement other forms of medication for various ailments. A good example is the treatment of side effects of chemotherapy in cancer patients. The best part about acupuncture is that, unlike most medications, it does not come with any side effects, except swelling in people allergic to needles.

Chemotherapy Side Effects

Cancer is a menace that claims approximately 200,000 lives annually in the US alone, according to study findings. Chemotherapy is a form of medication that involves the killing of cancerous cells through drugs and X-rays. One of the few side effects of chemotherapy is nausea. This is where acupuncture comes in; to help nausea associated with chemotherapy. Relief comes when acupuncture triggers the release of dopamine and endorphins that cause a relaxed sensation.

There has been a long debate in the medical community over the effectiveness of acupuncture in treating the above-mentioned ailments. Several studies have been carried to ascertain this but none has given conclusive results. The benefits of acupuncture remain unsubstantiated. On the bright side, several studies conducted on several people who have had the therapy said they experienced great relief from different ailments, especially pain. Some medics claim that relief from different ailments through acupuncture comes because patients anticipate it. Those who have had the therapy claim to feel nothing when the needles go in. however, there have been some isolated cases of swelling on the skin tissue, especially amongst people allergic to needles. It is believed that the swelling is a result of the wrong needle insertion technique. With that in mind, you will want to vet your acupuncturist diligently.