Acupuncture is an ancient medicinal practice used to restore homeostasis within the body. Originating in China around 198 BCE, this practice is centered on the flow of energy.
Practitioners believed that specific points in the body were gateways to body-energy. By triggering damaged points through acupuncture, it regulates the flow of energy to restore a form of balance.
Although regarded as a holistic form of healing, many western practitioners rave over the many health benefits of acupuncture. You can find a licensed acupuncturist virtually anywhere. This once niche practice is now highly regarded on a commercial level.
Since this practice involves placing intricate needles on specific parts of the body, it’s safe to assume that apprehension is high. Especially if you are intensely afraid of shots or needles in general.
It’s no denying that acupuncture seems scary when you see photos of it. However, there's scientific evidence supporting this natural remedy. In fact, the health benefits far outweigh the alleged fear. Let’s consider a few of those awesome perks.
According to Stephen Janz author of the Evidence Based Acupuncture Evidence Project, “It is no longer possible to say that the effectiveness of acupuncture can be attributed to the placebo effect or that it is useful only for musculoskeletal pain.”
According to the Evidence Based Acupuncture website, "The Acupuncture Evidence Project reviewed the effectiveness of acupuncture for 122 treatments over 14 clinical areas. They found some evidence of effect for 117 conditions. “Our study found evidence for the effectiveness of acupuncture for 117 conditions, with stronger evidence for acupuncture’s effectiveness for some conditions than others. Acupuncture is considered safe in the hands of a well-trained practitioner and has been found to be cost-effective for some conditions. The quality and quantity of research into acupuncture’s effectiveness is increasing” (Acupuncture Evidence Project, p55).
The Evidence Based Acupuncture Project reports evidence of positive effects of acupuncture on the following conditions
- Allergic rhinitis
- Chemotherapy induced nausea and vomiting
- Chronic lower back pain
- Migraine prevention
- Knee osteoarthritis
- Postoperative pain, nausea and vomiting
And evidence of 'potential positive effect' for more than 40 conditions including but not limited to
- Acute stroke
- Asthma in adults
- Cancer pain
- Irritable Bowel Syndrome
- Menopausal hot flashes
- Shoulder pain
- Smoking cessation
- And many more
Acupuncture Promotes Restful Sleep
A recent study published in the Sleep journal recommends adults to get between six to eight hours of sleep. Lack of sleep can result in a host of health concerns. However, acupuncture has been found to assist with that.
The core of acupuncture is Qi. This revolves around energy flowing throughout the body. If your energy is out of whack, it impacts your ability to fall asleep. Acupuncture, however, can trigger those specific points and make insomnia a thing of the past.
Acupuncture Gives You More Energy
Tired of feeling sluggish throughout the day? Want to conquer that five-mile run? Try a few sessions of acupuncture. One journal published by the Houston Chinese Medicine found that individuals who experienced extreme fatigue had an increase in energy when they incorporated acupuncture into their wellness routine.
Some of the most popular points to trigger fatigue are between the brows and on the lower back.
Relieve Anxiety With Acupuncture
Many of the symptoms associated with anxiety revolve around an imbalance in the body. Since acupuncture works to restore that balance, it only makes sense that it helps with anxiety.
Science has proven this hypothesis to be true. A study published in the Journal of Endocrinology tested the effects of blood hormone levels in animals when they used acupuncture treatments.
The study found that the animals not only experienced lower blood levels, they also displayed a calmer demeanor; one of the foremost symptoms of excessive stress.
Acid reflux is a popular disorder associated with poor digestion. One journal published by Dr. Yoseph Feleke found that individuals who incorporated acupuncture into their wellness routine experienced a decrease in symptoms.
In addition, acupuncture also helps relieve the symptoms of nausea and irritable bowel syndrome. Located near the ankle and around the leg are popular pressure points that'll regulate digestion.
Possibly Increase Fertility
While there aren't many studies showcasing the impact of acupuncture on fertility, many practitioners associated with the American Pregnancy Agency stand by this notion. Since acupuncture helps to restore balance and energy within the body, one can only assume that balance transcends to the reproductive system.
Women who are trying to conceive should consult with an acupuncturist to determine the specific pressure points that'll increase ovulation and fertility levels within the body.
Acupuncture is an awesome procedure that can help with virtually any challenge one may face. Prior to incorporating this into your daily routine, consult with your doctor to make sure it's right for you.
In addition, don't be intimidated by the pictures you see online or in-person. Acupuncture is not painful, and the process is actually quite relaxing.