Our society becomes more open to the possibilities of alternative medicine and many people are curious about acupuncture. If you’ve never tried acupuncture, you may be surprised to learn that acupuncture can do a lot more than just relieve pain. The physical and mental health benefits of acupuncture are numerous, and it’s something everyone should consider incorporating into their wellness routine.
What Is Acupuncture?
Acupuncture is an ancient form of Chinese medicine that has been used throughout Eastern cultures for thousands of years.
The primary goal of acupuncture therapy is to heal the body by balancing the flow of energy, which is called Qi. This energy flows throughout our bodies in a network of pathways that connect all of the body’s systems to each other.
If the flow of Qi gets blocked, disease and pain are the result. When acupuncture needles are used to stimulate specific acupuncture points in the body, the flow of Qi is restored to the mind and body. Many patients report that the treatments are incredibly relaxing, with very little to no pain during the entire procedure.
It may surprise you to learn that acupuncture offers a variety of physical and mental health benefits. Not only is it useful for relieving chronic pain, but it can also help to regulate the hormones, boost fertility, relieve migraines, improve digestion, reduce anxiety and depression, and much more. If you are interested in improving your mental and physical health without the use of pharmaceuticals or invasive treatments, acupuncture could be just what you’re looking for.
The Physical Health Benefits of Acupuncture
Most people would like to live a healthier, more natural lifestyle these days. Acupuncture offers an excellent opportunity to improve physical health in a non-invasive way. Acupuncture works to treat the body as a whole, rather than just addressing the symptoms of a specific complaint. Many patients notice improvements in areas where they didn’t even realize there was a problem.
According to acupuncturists from the Yinova Center in NYC, a qualified acupuncture physician creates a unique and personalized treatment plan for every patient. The plan often includes Chinese herbal medicine, diet and lifestyle changes, and bodywork along with acupuncture treatments. The goal is to get all of your organ systems functioning correctly so that you get lasting healing, rather than just temporary relief of your symptoms like you would get with medication.
If you are experiencing any of the following physical health concerns, acupuncture may be able to help you:
Chronic pain, including lower back pain and joint pain
Headaches and migraines
Fibromyalgia/ rheumatoid arthritis
High blood pressure
The Mental Health Benefits of Acupuncture
Treating Anxiety with Acupuncture
Scientific evidence shows that acupuncture could be an effective, natural and safe alternative course of treatment.
Sadly, millions of people around the world deal with anxiety every single day. The symptoms can often be so severe that they become difficult to control and have an impact on day to day activities. Typically, psychotherapy and medication are recommended for managing anxiety.
A study published in the Journal of Endocrinology showed that acupuncture can actually slow down the body’s production of stress hormones that cause anxiety. Patients also report that they experience feelings of calmness and peace after their treatments. Not does acupuncture offer a drug-free way to treat anxiety, it also works fast, with some patients noticing results after just one treatment.
Treating Depression with Acupuncture
As many as one in 10 Americans are affected by the symptoms of depression, and the typical treatment is usually antidepressant medications. Unfortunately, these medications often come with side effects that can leave you feeling just as bad or worse as the illness itself. Often, they even contribute to the very problems for which people need help, like low libido, weight gain, lack of energy, and sleep disorders.
On a brighter note, acupuncture has been shown to be quite useful for relieving the symptoms of depression. It can also be combined with Western medicine and therapy for more effective results, with less need for pharmaceuticals. Even better, acupuncture actually relieves some of the factors that contribute to depression in the first place, like physical pain and a feeling of being disconnected from life.
Acupuncture for Stress Management
With today’s hectic, on-the-go lifestyle, it’s no wonder that so many people suffer from stress overload.
Headaches, insomnia, fatigue, digestive issues, and irritability are all common side effects of stress. Even worse, stress usually affects you the most where you’re already weak. For example, if you already suffer from stomach issues, stress can lead to more significant problems like acid reflux or even ulcers.
Thankfully, acupuncture can be a very helpful way to manage stress. Many patients feel better within just a few weeks of treatment. They often feel calmer and stronger after their acupuncture sessions, and some even report feelings of relaxation and well-being within moments of the needles being inserted.
If you are interested in taking control of your health without the use of invasive or harmful conventional treatments, acupuncture is certainly worth considering. The physical and mental benefits of acupuncture are proven by science to be at least as effective as pharmaceutical drugs in many cases. As long as you seek out a qualified and licensed acupuncturist, the treatments are considered to be very safe.