The Surprising Benefits of Acupuncture

Acupuncture-85378453Acupuncture—the ancient Chinese practice of inserting needles into certain body parts—is truly an antidote for those experiencing chronic pain, as well as other health problems.

A recent study of almost 18,000 people published in the Archives of Internal Medicine found that the therapy helped reduce back and neck pain, arthritis and headaches. In the study, patients who received acupuncture had a 50% or greater reduction in pain, compared to a 30% improvement in the group that received no treatment. Those who received fake acupuncture treatments had a 43% reduction in symptoms. That could be due to what’s known as the placebo effect, meaning people feel better if they think they’re getting the real therapy.

A growing body of research shows that acupuncture may offer relief from a host of other medical problems. It may help reduce the nausea and vomiting associated with chemotherapy treatments; and it may offset the pain of fibromyalgia, menstrual cramps and tennis elbow. It may even relieve the discomfort of frozen shoulder—especially when given along with physical therapy.

Some studies have suggested that acupuncture may help some patients become pregnant. Experts suspect that the procedure might help reduce stress and increase blood flow to the uterus, which may improve the chances of a pregnancy. Smokers who want to kick the habit might also benefit from acupuncture.

Here’s what to expect during the procedure: The practitioner will insert several very thin needles into your skin, which will remain in place for around 10 to 20 minutes. You might experience a small amount of discomfort when they reach the correct depth under your skin, but you’ll probably have no pain when they’re removed.

After treatment, some people feel relaxed; others feel energized. Be sure to talk to your health-care provider before making an appointment, since you may be at risk for a complication if you have a bleeding disorder, have a pacemaker or are pregnant.

If you’re interested in learning more about acupuncture, contact us here.

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