Prescription pain relief can be a little scary. In the United States, opioid addiction has become a huge problem that can begin simply with a prescription that can quickly and easily spin out of control. This addiction epidemic crosses every demographic: rich or poor, inner-city or suburban, male or female. Faced with this potential health risk, what can we do to manage pain? Acupuncture can be the answer! There are many benefits of acupuncture. This article will discuss some of the incredible benefits of acupuncture for pain and overall health.
I'm sure throughout your life, you have heard of acupuncture, but do you know what it is and its benefits? This treatment is a staple of traditional Chinese medicine and is mostly used to relieve pain but is increasingly used to treat overall well-being.
The earliest evidence of acupuncture dates back over 3,000 years ago in China. One of the earliest recorded texts to mention acupuncture theory and treatment was from around 100 BC in the Yellow Emperor's Classic of Internal Medicine.
According to MayoClinic.org, acupuncture is described in traditional Chinese medicine to balance the flow of energy or Chi (life force). Your Chi is believed to flow through pathways known as meridians in your body. The insertion of fine needles at specific points along these meridians rebalances your energy to stimulate nerves, muscles, and connective tissue. This stimulation also boosts your body's natural painkillers called endorphins.
Many have found relief from chronic conditions such as lower back pain, osteoarthritis, and headaches. Acupuncture has also been known to reduce postoperative pain, migraines, tension headaches, fibromyalgia, and myofascial pain syndrome.
While there is no conclusive scientific evidence to suggest that acupuncture can directly reduce the risk of stroke, it has been found to be an effective method to manage hypertension and stress.
Acupuncture increases blood flow to the brain, reduces inflammation, and aids neurotransmitter activity.
By regulating neurotransmitters, hormones, and the central nervous system, acupuncture has been shown to minimize anxiety.
Acupuncture has been shown to successfully treat skin conditions such as acne, psoriasis, eczema, fine lines, collagen loss, wrinkles, and itchiness.
With its stress-relieving benefits, acupuncture is known to promote relaxation, promote widening of the blood vessels (vasodilation) and have a calming effect on the nervous system, which reduces high blood pressure.
Many people suffering from Gastrointestinal disorders such as IBS, nausea, vomiting, acid reflux, heartburn, morning sickness, constipation, and other digestive issues have found great relief with acupuncture.
Once again, the stress-reducing benefits of acupuncture coupled with regulating the immune response and nervous system have been known to boost immunity.
Acupuncture may help lower cortisol levels, which can have a calming effect on the body.
Often used as a complementary therapy for sleep-related issues, acupuncture is particularly good for improving sleep quality and addressing insomnia. Many use acupuncture as a drug-free way to help with sleep disturbances.
While the benefits of acupuncture may seem like a modern, new-age healing technique, it has been around for a long time, so it is much older than you may think.
Many may question the safety of sticking needles in their skin for various ailments. The risks of acupuncture are considerably low if you have a competent, certified therapist. Since single-use, disposable needles are the standard, the risk of infection is very low.
While the natural pain benefits of acupuncture might be a good choice for most, there are some health conditions that you should always tell your therapist about before you begin. These are:
The benefits of acupuncture don't require special preparation; however, you should do homework to ensure your acupuncture experience is enjoyable and effective. When choosing your acupuncture therapist, you should:
Acupuncture points or meridians can sometimes be far removed from the area you are experiencing pain. Your practitioner will have you lie on a padded table, and your acupuncture procedure can be as simple as three steps:
If you are looking for acupuncture supplies, we can point to these four great products:
A J-Type needle is commonly used for acupuncture therapy and is available in various diameters from 0.3 mm-0.12 mm for multiple treatment options. This Japanese-made acupuncture needle is known for precision, ease of use, and smoothness increasing the benefits of acupuncture.
These ear clips are FSA-approved, making them economical and a great way to boost the effectiveness of acupuncture therapy. They are very easy to use; simply connect the lead wires of an electrotherapy device to stimulate acupuncture points on the earlobe.
These high-quality tweezers are ideal for removing acupuncture needles or simple splinters. Crafted from high-quality stainless steel, they feature serrated tips that come to a point.
Made from heavy-duty, hardwood construction, this is the strongest table in its class. The 1.75" firm response padding provides a firm surface ideal for acupuncture or massage therapy.
The benefits of acupuncture can be difficult to measure, but many find it an alternative to opioid painkillers with few if any, side effects. Ask your doctor if acupuncture would be a proper alternative to potentially dangerous and addictive pain relief.
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Kevin Cleary has been a Health Products For You contributor for many years and has a degree in marketing. His health and wellness journey has a very personal meaning and has guided him in his content writing for HPFY.
In 2006, ...
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