Acupuncture is an ancient Chinese practice of inserting thin needles in specific points on the body as an alternative treatment for all kinds of ailments. Today, acupuncture is one of the most utilized forms of unconventional treatment in the United States – according to a study in a Global Advances in Health and Medicine¹, over 10 million acupuncture treatments are performed every year.
Acupuncture has the potential to ease many types of chronic pain and illnesses from joint paint to migraines. If you’re wondering how acupuncture could improve your quality of life, here are 10 benefits acupuncture can offer.
1. Reduced Stress
Acupuncture is a natural way to reduce or eliminate the effects of stress and anxiety. According to the American Psychological Association², as much as 77 percent of people admit they regularly experience physical symptoms caused by stress. Acupuncture can lower stress hormones in the brain and can stimulate the part of the brain that controls emotions, helping to soothe you when you’re most stressed.
2. Reduced Joint and Body Pain
Chronic joint or muscle pain can have a devastating impact on your quality of life, keeping you up at night and distracting you during the day. A study published by the American Medical Association³ concluded that acupuncture can relieve joint and muscle pain by 50 percent. Acupuncture is a great alternative to painkillers as it can also help ease swelling and inflammation.
3. Headache and Migraine Relief
When a headache strikes, it can seriously affect you. Headache sufferers commonly reach for pain medication for temporary pain relief. A drug-free option is acupuncture. According to Acupuncture Today⁴, studies prove acupuncture is effective for headaches, offering relief for tension, cluster, post-traumatic headaches, and disease-related headaches.
4. Eye Strain Relief
Neck pain is often connected to eye problems such as eye pressure and strain — acupuncture for the eye focuses on circulating blood flow around the eyes. Acupuncture can also help with dry, itchy, watery, red, and blurry eyes.
5. Immune System Boost
A weakened immune system can lead to frequent colds, allergies, and infections as well as chronic illnesses. Acupuncture can strengthen a weakened immune system by increasing the body’s red and white blood cell counts, keeping illnesses and chronic flare ups at bay.
6. Mental Clarity and Increased Energy
Everyone can benefit from more energy, and acupuncture is one way to achieve this. Acupuncture patients typically feel an increase in energy level and mental clarity. According to a study conducted by Beijing TCM Hospital⁵, acupuncture is also able restore your sleep-wake cycle and help you get a better night’s rest.
7. Digestive Relief
If you experience digestive issues such as heartburn, bacterial infections, ulcers, or any other digestive disorder, consider acupuncture. Acupuncture works for digestive problems because it can help to increase circulation, which results in reduced inflammation and improved digestive functions.
8. Allergy Relief
Dealing with a runny nose, sneezing, and itchy eyes is a typical occurrence during changing seasons, and people turn to drugstore allergy medications that offer little relief. An alternative treatment for allergies is acupuncture; undergoing a treatment can help strengthen your body’s immune system, which can significantly decrease your chances of getting seasonal allergies.
9. Reduced Smoking Cravings
Quitting smoking is one of the hardest habits to give up because nicotine is so addictive. Though there are many options available to help you quit, consider acupuncture. Acupuncture can be just as effective in helping people quit or reduce their smoking habits as traditional patches or other alternatives.
10. Injury Reduction
Many everyday tasks and activities can cause repetitive stress injuries to the body, especially if you’re working long hours or are involved in sports. Acupuncture is one way to treat this type of pain, and it can even eliminate the chances of needing surgery or pain medication down the road.
Search for Cutting-Edge Acupuncture Treatments
Acupuncture is generally considered a safe procedure if it’s performed by an experienced and well-trained practitioner. However, it’s important to contact your doctor before visiting an acupuncturist to make sure you and your current health are suited for acupuncture. If your doctor thinks acupuncture can alleviate some of your issues, pains, or illnesses, it’s easy to find an acupuncturist.
Search for an acupuncturist who’s experienced with exactly what type of pain or symptoms you’re experiencing and what you usually do to manage your pain. See if you can find practitioners who specialize in acupuncture for certain ailments or areas of the body. You’ll also want to search for acupuncturists who are up to date on the very latest in acupuncture treatment.
Before scheduling an appointment, ask about the estimated cost of the procedure and how much each session will cost. The number of treatments needed depends on you — chronic pain may require a number of treatments per week. It’s also important to note that some insurance companies will cover the cost of acupuncture. Acupuncture can be a very affordable option if you do your research beforehand.
Like anything, it’s always a good idea to be aware of the latest research. We recommend comparing at least 3 or 4 options before making a final decision. Doing a search online is typically the quickest, most thorough way to discover all the pros and cons you need to keep in mind.