Can Acupuncture Really Make a Difference in Your Health
Guest Blog Post: Donna Maurer
Many people are skeptical about the effectiveness of acupuncture, but it turns out that it really can make a difference in your health. Recent studies show that acupuncture is a valuable treatment for those suffering from a variety of issues, including anxiety, depression, chronic pain, and even infertility. Acupuncture is an ancient form of holistic healthcare that has been practiced in China for more than 2,500 years.
Acupuncture physicians believe in addressing the underlying cause of disease, rather than just treating the symptoms. They work in a partnership with the patient, addressing the mind and body as a whole. As part of a holistic treatment plan, an acupuncturist will often recommend lifestyle changes, as well as natural alternatives to pharmaceuticals and invasive procedures whenever possible.
Practitioners of acupuncture believe that all pain and disease originate from energy blockages within the body. The goal of an acupuncture session is to release this blocked energy and restore balance. This is accomplished by inserting ultra-fine needles through the skin at specific acupuncture points that correspond with different organs throughout the body.
Acupuncture for Anxiety and Depression
Sadly, as many as 19 million people in this country suffer from depression, and more than 40 million have anxiety that is so severe it affects their daily lives. Medications and psychotherapy are the go-to treatments for these issues, but there may be a better way. Acupuncture treatments may offer the patient a way to relieve their symptoms naturally.
According to a recent article published in Psychology Today, acupuncture treatments can reduce anxiety symptoms by impeding the production of stress hormones. Patients report a 50% improvement after just three weeks of regular treatment and 90% improvement within six weeks. They state that they feel calmer and more relaxed after just one treatment. In cases of depression, acupuncture can sometimes be used in conjunction with Western medicine, providing more effective results and reducing the need for medications.
Long-term stress is a well-known contributor to a variety of health issues, including headaches, insomnia, fatigue, digestive complaints, and mood swings. In other words, stress often attacks the body at its weakest point. For example, if your stomach is weak, stress will often cause issues like ulcers and heartburn. Acupuncture is ideally suited for treating the symptoms of stress because it addresses the mind and body as a whole.
By utilizing this natural option to at least decrease the symptoms of mental health issues like anxiety and depression, a natural ripple effect will occur as a patient’s state of mind improves. While it may seem obvious, studies have indicated that happier people do, in fact, lead healthier lives and remain in better health as they age. Using acupuncture as a way to ease the symptoms of depression and anxiety can ultimately correlate with a healthier lifestyle in addition to a happier outlook on life.
Acupuncture for Chronic Pain
Millions of Americans live with chronic pain on a day to day basis. Most patients believe that drugs and invasive procedures, including surgery, are the only way to get relief. However, acupuncture is becoming much more widely recognized as a natural and safe way to treat chronic pain.
According to research published in the Journal of Pain, patients who receive acupuncture treatments once or twice a week experienced significant relief of their chronic pain. Other studies show that acupuncture is useful for neck and back pain, chronic headaches, shoulder pain, and osteoarthritis. A combination of acupuncture, massage, and lifestyle changes relieve or even eliminate chronic pain because it seeks to correct the underlying imbalance that is causing it.
Acupuncture for Fertility
There’s nothing more heartbreaking for a couple than issues with fertility. Most couples are willing to try almost anything to conceive, including expensive fertility drugs that often have dangerous side effects. But there is hope. According to a recent article from the Pacific College of Oriental Medicine, acupuncture can boost fertility without the use of invasive treatments or pharmaceuticals.
Dr. Jill Blakeway, an expert at the Yinova Center acupuncture and fertility clinic, reports that acupuncture can help to regulate the hormonal imbalances that are a common cause of infertility issues. Irregular menstrual periods and polycystic ovary syndrome, as well as miscarriage and preterm labor, are commonly caused by hormonal irregularities.
Acupuncture also improves blood flow to the uterus and ovaries, which helps to regulate ovulation and menstrual cycles to increase the chances of conception. The increased blood flow also makes the uterine lining thicker and more welcoming to support implantation and full-term pregnancy. Because of the holistic approach of acupuncture, it can be especially useful in patients where the underlying cause of the fertility issues can’t be diagnosed. In these situations, acupuncture can be used to reduce stress levels, relax the uterus, regulate cycles, balance hormones to increase chances of conception.
In this day and age, we are all looking for safer alternatives to improve our health. Acupuncture offers a proven, drug-free, holistic way to treat many common health issues. Thanks to scientific evidence, we can turn to this ancient alternative therapy with confidence.