If you’ve ever wondered what is acupuncture, you’re probably not alone. Chances are, you’ve heard this treatment method, but you may not fully understand what it is. This holistic health practice is a technique that has its roots in Traditional Chinese Medicine. It involves trained practitioners who stimulate specific points on the body by inserting thin needles into the skin. This can help with a wealth of medical conditions, such as inflammation, migraines and insomnia. For more information on acupuncture benefits, read below.
Here are 6 ways in which acupuncture benefits your health:
1. Helps Reduce Headaches and Migraines
If you suffer from migraines, the question what is acupuncture may have crossed your mind. Indeed, one of the acupuncture benefits is the ability to reduce migraine pain.
The Center for Complementary Medicine at the University of Munich found that this treatment method “could be a valuable non-pharmacological tool in patients with frequent chronic tension-type headaches.” This was their conclusion after conducting a study. Participants in this study, following treatment, continued to experience a decrease in the number of headaches as well as the intensity of pain. (1)
If you’re looking for a headache remedy or an effective migraine remedy, consider trying this treatment method.
2. Improves Chronic Pain, Including for the Back, Neck, Knee or Arthritis Pain
What is acupuncture is a viable question in particular for those suffering from chronic pain. The University Medical Center of Berlin examined acupuncture benefits, in fact, and found that this treatment was more effective in treating chronic back pain that no acupuncture treatment at all. (2)
And if you were wondering if these benefits are merely a placebo affect, another study refuted this idea. Memorial Sloan-Kettering Depart of Epidemiology and Biostatistics studied acupuncture benefits. In particular, they determined the effect of this treatment on four chronic pain conditions: neck and back pain, arthritis, chronic headache and shoulder pain. Not only did they conclude that this treatment is effective as a treatment for chronic pain, they also found that it’s more than just a placebo. They also noted it’s a reasonable referral option for doctors. (3)
3. Helps Treat Insomnia
Next on the list of acupuncture benefits is the ability to treat insomnia. In 2009, Beijing University of Chinese Medicine conducted a study examining acupuncture benefits. The analysis revealed that participants who were taking medications of herbal treatment to help with sleep saw more improvements after adding acupuncture as a treatment method. Furthermore, unlike some sleep medications, the sessions of this treatment displayed no adverse side effects. (4)
4. Improves Cancer and Chemotherapy Recovery
Acupuncture benefits include boosting immunity, as well, which can speed up recovery following cancer treatments. For example, researchers from one trial found that this treatment can enhance immunity and platelet count, as well as prevent a decrease in healthy cells following radiation or chemotherapy. This was in comparison to receiving no treatment of this nature. (5)
Furthermore, researchers noted that patients experienced less pain from treatments, improvements in quality of life and a decrease in nausea and other side effects of chemo.
5. Helps to Prevent Cognitive Decline
Also on the list of acupuncture benefits is the ability to relieve age-related cognitive decline. This includes such conditions as Parkinson’s disease.
A 2002 study out of Maryland conducted a study examining acupuncture benefits regarding Parkinson’s disease. Researchers found that out of 20 Parkinson’s patients, 85 percent reported improvement of symptoms. These symptoms included tremor, walking, handwriting, slowness, pain, issues with sleep, depression and anxiety. Additionally, there were no adverse side effects reported. (6)
6. Pregnancy, Labor & Postpartum Health
What is acupuncture is one question, and here’s another: is it safe during pregnancy? The answer is yes! In fact, many doctors are now recommending it as a safe treatment to reduce stress, balance hormones, and relieve the anxiety of pregnancy as well as labor.
Additionally, it can be used directly before the baby is due to help prepare the body for labor. It can also be used after the baby is born to help with mental or physical issues, such as depression or pain.
Moreover, this treatment may help with food allergies, rheumatoid arthritis and muscle cramps. And, now that know the answer to the question what is acupuncture and understand some of the benefits, you might consider consulting a specialist to pursue this treatment option.
It is important to understand that there are a few acupuncture points that a trained, qualified acupuncturist will AVOID during pregnancy. Be sure your acupuncturist is properly licensed. (7)