Acupuncture is a type of treatment that originates from China and continues to be largely popular in China as a traditional form of medicine. Its popularity, however, is not limited to China since nearly 7% of Americans use acupuncture, while close to 5% of the world population uses acupuncture as a form of treatment and therapy.
It is a procedure whereby thin needles are inserted in a person's skin in various parts and to various depths. Feedback and research have shown that it is useful in dealing with stress and relieving pain, although the reasons are unclear. Many doctors believe that receiving acupuncture is a psychological effect of simply receiving treatment, while some believe that it alters the bloodstream to activate natural painkillers in our blood.
Basic benefits of acupuncture
The primary objective of using acupuncture is to reduce stress and pain in different parts of the body. Thus it is helpful in dealing with:
• Headaches and migraine
• Neck or back pain
• Ankle or knee sprains
• Allergic reactions
Acupuncture helps cure diseases
A statement presented by the World Health Organization (WHO) suggests that patients of the following conditions appear to recover or feel better after acupuncture:
• Tourette Syndrome: People suffering from Tourette's unintentionally blurt out random information and words, which are often offensive. WHO found that reducing stress through acupuncture decreases the impact of Tourette's and can cure the syndrome.
• High blood pressure and stroke: Anxiety and stress are known to cause high blood pressure and stroke, so reducing it through acupuncture is observed to be an effective form of treatment.
• Arthritis: More than 2000 acupuncture points are connected to joints, so using acupuncture at these points can reduce joint inflammation, improve blood flow, and alleviate pain.
• Dementia: Although dementia cannot be fully treated and cured by acupuncture, the effects of memory loss and loss of brain functions can be reduced. Additionally, people at high risk of getting dementia due to genetic reasons are less likely to get it if they regularly treat themselves with acupuncture.
WHO is continuing research to understand what other diseases can be treated using acupuncture.
Besides being used as a cure for diseases and dealing with daily life stress and pain, acupuncture is beneficial in many other ways:
• Better digestion: Acupuncture can aid in regulating the digestive system, and it is especially useful in reducing gut problems like stomach aches, diarrhea, and bloating.
• Reduced eye strain: Eye strain is usually caused by neck tension, so acupuncture can relieve neck stress and pain to decrease eye strain. Acupuncture is also used to treat other eye disorders like short-sightedness, long-sightedness, glaucoma, lazy eye, color blindness, and night blindness.
• Good sleep and mental clarity: Acupuncture patients report enhanced mental clarity and experience increased energy. Patients describe having better quality sleep, and specifically, those with insomnia have reported sleeping better.
• Improved immune system: Acupuncture is shown to boost the immune system as it can help fight off pathogens. It can also reduce the duration of viral diseases such as the common cold and flu, hence reducing the number of sick days a person takes.
• Decreased menstrual cramps: Menstrual cramps can be a painful experience for women during a menstrual period, so using acupuncture can significantly lessen the amount of pain, and in many cases, it causes a drop in the frequency of cramps.
• Weight loss: It has been confirmed that acupuncture gives rise to weight loss, as it increases metabolism and reduces the number of fat reserves.
With all the benefits stated above, it is safe to suggest that acupuncture is immensely useful in dealing with a range of medical problems, from a headache to arthritis. If you do decide to use acupuncture, ensure that you get a professional acupuncturist or doctor to perform it for safety purposes.