There has been growing popularity in recent years in the use of acupuncture in western society. Even Oprah Winfrey tried acupuncture out of curiostity live on Oprah and admitted it's not all that bad!
For over 23 centuries, the method of insertion of slender needles into pressure points in the body to unblock energy, blood, and moisture flow has been used to treat and prevent illnesses. Acupuncture goes unnoticed by some and to others feels like a small pinch followed by a sensation of tingling, traveling warmth, or heaviness. Sometimes people feel Qi (vital energy) moving at a distance from that point of insertion.
From a Western point of view, acupuncture is becoming less mysterious due to the positive results it has been known to produce. According to the National Institute of Health, a number of studies have demonstrated that acupuncture can cause multiple biological responses in both humans and animals. Because acupuncture has been used with dramaticsuccess in place of anesthesia and to treat conditions associated with pain, it is thought to stimulate the release of pain-relieving compounds such as endorphins and opioids.Acupuncture is known to treat everything from the common cold to infertility, and according to some, even better than the ways of Western medicine. Let’s explore the benefits of acupuncture and just how it works.
Benefits of Chinese Acupuncture
Acupuncture Benefit #1: Helps Prevent Flu and Allergies
Start with prevention! Treating someone before the flu season starts can build their immune system just like a flu shot - except one is not injecting dead or live strains of the virus into the body. Instead, the person’s immune system is being strengthened so that it is able to fight the virus. This treatment involves acupuncture (with appointments twice a month before flu season) and herbal teas. With flu shots so rare these days, this sounds like a great alternative!
With allergies as well, appointments should be set up weekly a month before, and then throughout the duration of the allergy season. This enables the body to modulate its immune response and handle the allergen better.
Acupuncture Benefit #2: Helps Treat the Common Cold and Flu
If you are unlucky enough to catch the cold or flu, acupuncture offers a quicker recovery. What we commonly call catching a cold or flu is basically a viral or bacterial infection. In Chinese medical theory, this illness is attributed to an invasion of evil energy often referred to as evil wind. However you view it, you gets sick when your immunity is low and the body is unable to ward off the infection or "evil winds." Fever and flu-like symptoms are nature’s way of fighting the infection.
Western medicine aims at suppression of symptoms with fever reducers, cough suppressants, and antibiotics (which kill both the good and bad bacteria in the body, making your immune system weaker.) But Chinese medicine can significantly help avoid the use of antibiotics by enhancing the body’s own immunity, enabling it to fight off disease without killing the good bacteria. Usually, people using Chinese medicine are able to shorten the duration of their flu significantly and tend to feel less weakness after the flu is over.
Acupuncture Benefit #3: Helps Alleviate Pain From Chemotherapy
Cancer seems to be ever-present in today’s world. With October being Breast Cancer Awareness month, most everyone has cancer on the brain. According to Elena Rozenfeld, Director of the Elite Wellness Center in New Jersey, acupuncture can help relieve a patient of the pain and discomfort felt from treatments like chemotherapy. Cancer is a systemic disease, so a whole body is involved. Elena states, “I believe that any illness starts by blocked energy and/or blood and moisture. Acupuncture helps coordinate the work of the organs and keep the body balanced by regulating its energy functions. From my patients I’ve learned that quality of life is dramatically improved when chemotherapy is done in conjunction with acupuncture. The side effect of chemotherapy is feeling sick with flu-like symptoms and nausea; these symptoms are often relieved via acupuncture.”
“The process of treating cancer is first to find out in great detail the patient's lifestyle - what they eat, what they breathe, what activities they participate in daily, what kind of stress they have, how they sleep, and much more.” Next, Elena performs more tests including a “meridian stress assessment test,” a survey questionnaire and a hair analysis. “From all this information, I am able to design a protocol for each patient individually.”
Elena says that any types of cancer can be treated using this method. Generally the treatment for this takes between 30 min to 1 hour, and most often, cancer patients report relief of the discomforts associated with chemotherapy the same day or next day after the acupuncture treatment. Results last for several days.
Acupuncture Benefit #4: Helps with Thinning Hair and Hair Loss
If you feel as though your hair is thinning or you have been living with thinning hair for some time, the professionals at Biovisage promise to help trigger hair growth through acupuncture. Biovisage uses acupuncture to treat the external issues that can be the cause of hair loss or thinning. The acupuncture treatment focuses on the areas that will help sleep and stress, which are often causes of hair loss and/or thinning. Once the body is brought back to its healthy normal state, hair growth is generated and patients are said to notice thicker hair and hair growth. Visit biovisageclinic.com for more information!
Acupuncture can also be used to treat many gynecological health issues in woman. Many acupuncture practices specialize in women’s health, including Front Range Acupuncture, LLC which provides natural treatment for issues like ovarian cysts, hormonal imbalances, infertility, perimenopausal symptoms, and much more.
Lauren Mathews from Front Range Acupuncture says that the discussion of how acupuncture and herbal medicine can work to treat the above gynecological conditions is a big subject. In general terms, it balances the body naturally, increasing energy to organ and meridian systems that are depleted and moving energy through stuck or stagnant systems. There are many examples of how it can work, here are just a few:
- increasing blood flow to the uterus, thus increasing the uterine lining
- moving blood where it has stagnated, creating fibroids, cysts, or endometriosis
- balancing hormones to increase fertility or reduce premenstrual symptoms
Chinese acupuncture allows for a number of benefits. Learning more about this Eastern practice can give you more options in times of illness, and with so many people professing great results these days, why not at least give it a try?