Acupuncture: What are its benefits?
Acupuncture is a technique that is part of traditional Chinese medicine. Acupuncture includes an alternative approach to health that originated in ancient China more than 2,500 years ago and has evolved over the years.
Although the benefits of acupuncture have long proved, the technique must be performed by a qualified professional.
Has your doctor ever prescribed acupuncture as a medication for any condition? Probably not.
In general, some doctors are not aware that science shows that alternative treatments are valid options for drugs and medications. Keep reading and learn more about acupuncture.
What is acupuncture?
Acupuncture is a practice arising from traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) in which needles are inserted in specific places of the body to treat diseases. They involve the stimulation of anatomical locations on or in the skin through a variety of techniques. In most cases, thin metal needles.
According to traditional Chinese medicine, pain and disease originate as a result of an imbalance between the two forces that direct the human body, yin, and yang; and this imbalance blocks the flow of vital energy or qi. which believed to flow through channels (meridians) in the body. By inserting needles at specific points in these meridians, acupuncturists believe that the flow of energy is rebalanced.
Finally, western acupuncture incorporates medical traditions from China, Japan, Korea, and other countries. The most studied mechanism is the stimulation of acupuncture points. Acupuncture employs the penetration of the skin using metallic needles, which are manipulated manually or by electrical stimulation.
Acupuncture is a widespread practice for thousands of years in Asian countries, but today it is practiced in all countries of the world, both in the eastern and western areas.
Acupuncturists make the diagnosis of a person based on the background and physical problems, the emotional, family, and environmental factors.
Diagnosis and treatment base on the Five Elements :
1. Water element. It governs organs such as the bladder and the kidneys and is more active in summer.
2. Fire element. On him depend the heart and pericardium. It is more active in summer.
3. Wood element. It governs the liver and gallbladder. More active in spring.
4. Metal element It affects the lung and large intestine. More active in autumn.
5. Earth element. It governs the stomach and spleen. More active at the end of the summer.
Each element has emotions and conflicts, and depending on which area is involved; the needles should be located in one place or another. The needles are very thin and metal. They are not at all painful, nor do they leave lasting discomfort.
The chronic pain is undoubtedly one of the most common reasons why people seek acupuncture therapy. But there are several reasons studied at a scientific level that this technique can relieve.
For starters, acupuncture seems to be a useful tool to improve the pregnancy rate. This technique can reduce stress hormones that promote infertility.
It also helps increase blood flow to the uterus, by making the uterine wall thick and thus facilitating fertility. Also, it regulates the menstrual cycle, which makes family planning more accessible.
Acupuncture also helps women who suffer from a hormonal imbalance called polycystic ovary syndrome. Also, it strengthens the immune system. This prevents disease and weakness that can reduce the chances of fertility.
Relieves back pain
The use of acupuncture therapy to relieve chronic back pain is increasingly common. As we have said, it is beneficial for chronic pain.
Acupuncture could have an analgesic effect in these cases. Also, it can change a patient’s perception of pain and relieve symptoms.
It could alleviate symptoms in stress, anxiety, and depression
Acupuncture treatments aimed at different parts of the body can relieve different types of disorders. Combat stress, anxiety, and depression by increasing the efficiency of medications.
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A study conducted in China analyzed the combination of acupuncture and medications. He found that a low dose of fluoxetine (Prozac), combined with acupuncture, gave surprising results. It was as effective in reducing anxiety in patients receiving treatment for depression as the full dose of medication.
The addition of acupuncture also reduces the side effects of the drug. These may include nausea or weight gain. Also, difficulty maintaining an erection delayed ejaculation and a decrease in sexual appetite. Acupuncture releases stress and anxiety because it achieves balance in the body’s energy and helps relaxation
Relieves heartburn symptoms in pregnant women
Acupuncture may alleviate heartburn in pregnant women . This is stated in a study published in 2009 by researchers from the University of Sao Paulo. A total of 42 pregnant women were assigned in two groups to be treated, or not, with acupuncture.
They obtained that, in those women who received acupuncture treatment, significant improvements in their symptoms could be seen. It could also be understood that those women used fewer medications and had a more considerable increase in their disabilities compared to the group of women who did not receive acupuncture.
It can relieve headaches
Regular acupuncture therapy is effective in preventing or reducing headache intensity. In particular of migraines.
And, according to this research, adding acupuncture to the symptomatic treatment of attacks reduces the frequency of headaches.
Also, the authors mention that previously available trials also suggest that acupuncture may be at least as effective as treatment with prophylactic medications. So it seems that acupuncture can be considered a treatment option in those affected by migraines.
It could affect the immune system
According to researchers at Kyung Hee University in South Korea, electroacupuncture treatment not only improves innate immunity but also modulates the adaptive immune system.
It can be favourable in chronic pain
According to a study published in 2014, acupuncture is associated with reductions in chronic pain compared to simulated acupuncture and compared to the absence of acupuncture. The differences between true and false acupuncture are smaller than those between true acupuncture and control without acupuncture.
It could end obesity
The influence of acupuncture therapy on obesity is not well documented. There are not enough studies. Therefore, there is not enough evidence to suggest that it could be an effective treatment to help you lose weight.
After analyzing 31 studies with a total of 3,013 people, some research in Korea reached the following conclusion. Acupuncture therapy would lead to a more significant decrease in body weight. It would even be more effective than lifestyle changes or medications.
However, failures in many of the studies make their long-term effectiveness difficult. However, for people who want to try it, adding a weekly acupuncture session can be useful. Always accompanied by daily exercise and a nutritious diet.
Finally, the risks associated with acupuncture are minimal. However, the acupuncturist who performs the procedure must be a qualified professional.
Not everyone is the right candidate for the procedure. We recommend that you consult a specialist if your conditions are suitable for acupuncture.