Today, Saturday, May 30, 2020

What Types of Conditions Benefit from the Use of Acupuncture?

For centuries, acupuncture has been used to promote healing in and other Asian countries. It is a practice that works to target and stimulate specific points of the body in order to relieve pain and restore health. In the , acupuncture is commonly referred to by many medical experts as a type of alternative medicine.

Although few complications have been reported from its use, there is a potential for serious, damaging side effects if it is not applied by a qualified practitioner. Several acupuncture techniques exist, but the most often used ones involve penetrating the skin with thin needles that are manipulated by hand or electrical stimulation. The procedure is believed to have the potential to treat a number of particular conditions.

Digestive Disorders
Years of dealing with chronic stress on a daily basis can lead to a digestive imbalance beginning with discomfort in the earliest stages and ultimately progressing to an illness or disorder. The symptoms may include fatigue, concentration difficulty, muscle cramps, and a gradual decrease in energy. If left untreated, these symptoms are likely to develop into more severe conditions such as gastritis, bacterial infections, ulcers, and gastrointestinal tract bleeding.

The World Health Organization has recognized acupuncture as a way to regulate digestion and restore the balance to the gastrointestinal tract. What makes it effective is the way acupuncture encourages gastrointestinal muscle contraction and relaxation, while simultaneously reducing gastric acid, and alleviating general symptoms.

Respiratory Disease
Millions of people suffer from respiratory conditions such as asthma, bronchitis, and emphysema. One type of infection that often accompanies respiratory diseases is sinusitis, an inflammation of the sinuses that prevents them from fighting bacteria and other germs. Through trials and tests, it has been discovered that laser acupuncture administered around the sinus area greatly diminished and even completely eliminated the inflammation. The laser therapy also relieved pressure on the sinuses, generated more sinus drainage, and eased overall pain in patients.

In a recent case study, fifty patients with bronchial asthma were treated using laser acupuncture for ten days. Their lung function and breathing had improved after the first thirty minutes and continued to steadily improve throughout the following ten days, during which time they received low-power laser stimulation on key points of their bodies.

One fascinating aspect observed in the study results was the decrease in asthma attacks and a significant alleviation of symptoms after a short period of time, but the positive effects continued for weeks and months thereafter. This is especially important when considering the customary costs of treating asthma and other respiratory conditions in comparison to the relatively low cost of the acupuncture with its lasting effects.

Another common lung infection is pneumonia, often caused by a virus in the lungs, with symptoms ranging from mild to severe and leading to death in some cases. Doctors have found that a combination of pharmaceutical drugs and laser acupuncture created an increase in the amount of iron and chromium in the blood stream, improving circulation, and reducing cell membrane permeability. That led to a rapid recovery of the natural function of the lungs as well as the external respiratory functions.

Further testing showed that laser acupuncture was more effective by itself in treating pneumonia than the use of drugs alone, particularly in elderly patients.

PCOS, Exercise, and Electro Acupuncture
Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) is an endocrine and metabolic disorder that develops in women as a form of ovary dysfunction, insulin resistance, cardiovascular disease, and obesity. The main cause for the disorder is the heightened level of sympathetic nerve activity occurring in the blood vessels. The resulting complications may be irregular menstrual cycles, increased testosterone, infertility, and ovarian cysts. PCOS has also been linked to diabetes, high blood pressure, stroke, and heart attacks.

With exercise and electro-acupuncture, the sympathetic nerve activity and constricted blood vessels can be significantly reduced by approaching the condition from different angles. Exercise helps to reduce weight and fat stores in women with PCOS, which is essential in maintaining good health. In addition, the low-frequency electro-acupuncture treatment is instrumental in reducing testosterone levels and reestablishing a more consistent menstrual cycle.

Arthritis and Muscle Pain
The most popular use of acupuncture is for relieving and preventing chronic pain. Many people rely on the procedure to remove the discomfort associated with headaches, back pain, menstrual pain, or neck pain. Interestingly, acupuncture has also been known to be effective in treating arthritis, facial pain, colitis, and shingles. The healing is stimulated when the needles are inserted into various points of the patient’s muscle groups. Once in place, different sensations are triggered through twisting the needles, or applying electricity or warmth. Muscles respond to these techniques, allowing them to recover, leaving the patient to feel relaxed and invigorated.

From a scientific standpoint, the manner in which acupuncture works in such cases is due to the release of endorphins triggered by the use of needles on areas proximately located to nerves. The endorphins virtually stop the message of pain from being transmitted to the body’s central nervous system. After insertion, the needles remain in place for several minutes and up to an hour to achieve the desired effect of the acupuncture as the individual patient is observed.

Addiction and Obesity
Having an addiction to alcohol, nicotine, caffeine, or other drugs can damage multiple areas of a person’s life. As substance abuse becomes a growing problem, the treatment carries its share of uncertainty, primarily due to the side effects resulting from the use of certain drugs to address the addictive behaviors.

For this reason, acupuncture is currently under investigation as a safer alternative to eliminating or ameliorating addictions. When properly performed, acupuncture raises the level of endorphins, which can be integral in controlling the cravings for drugs and substances. Based on the research completed over the years, the desire to smoke, drink, or use other drugs was decreased, along with withdrawal symptoms.

Since some researchers believe that appetites are also influenced by endorphin levels, acupuncture has proven to be a practical method in dieting and weight loss, assisting dieters in controlling their eating habits, and giving them the benefits of a drug-free treatment.

Acupuncture is a natural way to successfully treat a variety of conditions.  By stimulating both internal organs and the nervous system, it helps to bring about pain relief, healing and chemical balance without the side effects associated with medications.

Resources - Mayo Clinic – Acufinder - ITM

References - NCCAM - Dr. Richard Brown - Acupuncture Today - Medical News Today - WebMD - Acupuncture Healing Hearts

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