While acupuncture may be new to many Americans, this treatment has been used to heal and support wellness for thousands of years. A form of traditional Chinese medicine, it involves stimulating the body’s natural healing powers by targeting specific points called acupoints with thin needles. Although the thought of needles can be a bit alarming, the many health benefits of acupuncture make this form of complementary medicine a great option for people of all ages.
The Health Benefits of Acupuncture
Generally, Western medicine focuses on treating specific symptoms. Acupuncture takes a different approach. A holistic practice, it looks at the entire person, identifies patterns that indicate potential imbalances, and works to correct them. Although the health benefits of acupuncture are often described as hard to quantify, the quality of the results it can produce has led many people to incorporate acupuncture into their wellness efforts. What positive impacts can acupuncture offer?
If you happen to be fluent in Greek, then you may realize that the term homeostasis practically defines itself. After all, “homeo” means “similar,” and “stasis” means “steady.” When the body achieves homeostasis, it is ideally balanced or stable, and it’s able to perform optimally. Acupuncture can aid the body in attaining homeostasis by supporting its ability to regulate the complex assortment of functions that it is continually called on to execute.
Pain does more than hurt. It also interferes with concentration, inhibits physical activity, disrupts sleep, and causes emotional disturbances. Although a variety of over-the-counter and prescription painkillers are available, these medications can come with unpleasant side effects that can be particularly problematic when pain is a chronic issue. Acupuncture urges the body’s own natural defenses to rally against pain, providing welcome relief without the worrisome side effects.
Inflammation is part of the immune system’s natural response to illness or injury, but a little goes a long way. While a brief inflammatory response can set the stage for healing, inflammation that lingers or becomes chronic is linked to a number of serious health concerns, including some cancers, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, arthritis, Parkinson’s disease, fibromyalgia, and Alzheimer’s disease. Acupuncture has an anti-inflammatory effect, so it helps to reduce pain and calm inflammation.
As blood circulates through the body, it carries much-needed nutrients to the tissues and cells. When circulation is compromised, the cells suffer and healing and regeneration slow. Acupuncture supports good circulation, encouraging healing and health at a cellular level.
It’s no secret that stress is bad for your health. Widely recognized for its ability to promote relaxation, acupuncture can protect the body from the detrimental effects of stress by reducing stress levels and encouraging tranquility.
Anxiety, depression, and other mood disorders often respond well to acupuncture. Credit may go to this modality’s ability to increase levels of crucial neurotransmitters like serotonin and restore hormonal balance to the body. Acupuncture may also lead to improvements in mood by reducing pain. With less pain, people are better able to engage in activities and enjoy life.
In today’s 24-hour society, sleep doesn’t always get the respect it deserves, but lack of sleep can be a serious problem. Insomnia doesn’t just keep you awake. It can diminish your quality of life. Poor sleep can have a negative impact on your professional performance and leave you too drained to participate in social activities. It can increase your risk of injury by reducing alertness and slowing reaction time. Lack of sleep also harms your health; insomniacs face a higher risk of mental health disorders and various chronic diseases like high blood pressure and heart disease.
Acupuncture fights insomnia on many fronts. It reduces factors like pain and stress that can impede sleep and stimulates the release of neurotransmitters that promote better sleep.
Before proceeding with any medical treatments, savvy health care consumers weigh the potential benefits against the possible risks. When performed by a properly trained professional, acupuncture is considered a safe, effective treatment with few side effects. As an added bonus, it can be combined with other treatment modalities as part of a multifaceted approach to wellness.
Conditions Treated with Acupuncture
What types of ailments can benefit from acupuncture? While many people choose to undergo acupuncture to support their overall health, this form of complementary medicine can be used to help ease specific health issues. Health care professionals often encourage people suffering from the following conditions to consider scheduling a consultation with an acupuncturist:
- Chronic pain
- Sleep disorders
- Migraines and other forms of headache
- Gastrointestinal issues like irritable bowel syndrome
- Infertility and menstrual issues
- Hormonal imbalances
- Mood disorders, including depression and anxiety
Are you interested in learning more about the health benefits of acupuncture? At Loehr Chiropractic and Acupuncture, we take a holistic approach to chiropractic care to promote healing and enhance the overall well-being of our clients. If you’re interested in acupuncture, we would love to help create an acupuncture treatment plan based on your individual needs. If you have any questions or would like to find out more about acupuncture treatments, call 417-887-8075 or leave us a message.