Proponents of acupuncture claim that acupuncture can help to relieve a number of conditions, ranging from persistent nausea to addiction. By inserting the tips of needles in strategic points in the body, an acupuncturist is able to stimulate the central nervous system. The natural chemicals that release into the brain, muscles and spinal cord stimulate our ability to promote healing naturally. Stimulation at the acupuncture points also enhances emotional well-being and physical well-being. Studies by the National Institute of Health (NIH) show acupuncture to be an effective stand-alone treatment and also combine well with others to treat a plethora of medical complaints.
Does Acupuncture Promote Healing?
How does acupuncture work?
Acupuncture is the insertion of needles into areas of the body that stimulate the nervous system to release endorphins, serotonin. Both endorphins and serotonin are natural painkillers, and hormones in the spinal cord, the brain, and muscles. Acupuncture treatment involves three phases: inserting the needles, needle manipulation, and needle removal. Inserting the fine needles in strategic points helps patients to relax. Depending on the type of acupuncture treatment, the acupuncturist uses 5 to 20 needles. As the practitioner twists the needles, they are able to manipulate the insertion points. Alternatively, the practitioner may apply mild electrical stimulation or heat to the needles. On average, an acupuncture session will last between 10 and 20 minutes. The thin needle removal process is quick and painless.
Acupuncture is useful for easing nausea and respiratory conditions such as asthma. Studies suggest acupuncture can also help with stroke rehabilitation. In fact, many people use this form of traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) to treat a variety of ailments and promote healing. Acupuncture therapy can release blocked qi in the body and stimulate function, evoking the body’s natural healing response through various physiological systems.
Acupuncture can help with post-surgical dentistry pain, menstrual cramps, myofascial pain, migraines, and even tennis elbow. Furthermore, acupuncture can assist people with Fibromyalgia, a rheumatic condition that manifests in muscular or musculoskeletal pain, stiffness, and tenderness at certain body points. People suffering from osteoarthritis, sciatica headaches, neck pain, and lower back pain can also benefit from acupuncture.
Carpal Tunnel Syndrome (CTS)
The carpal tunnel is a narrow passageway of ligament and bones at the base of your hand. The main cause of CTS is compression of the median nerve. Carpal Tunnel Syndrome manifests in numbness, tingling, and weakness in the hand as well as the arm. Acupuncture can help alleviate pain, inflammation, numbness, and restore motor dexterity in patients suffering from CTS.
Gastritis is a general term that describes inflammation of the stomach lining. This condition is usually caused by a bacterial infection and can cause ulcers and an increased risk of stomach cancer. It can also lead to upper gastrointestinal bleeding. Studies suggest acupuncture is more effective than ranitidine for reducing or eliminating gastric mucosal lesions and inflammation.
Research suggests acupuncture can assist patients dealing with depression, insomnia, nervousness, and neurosis. Taking the time to partake in acupuncture appointments is a great form of self-care. An acupuncture session will provide you with quiet time and the ability to forget about everything else going on in your life. This can be extremely beneficial to your mental health.
Before trying acupuncture, check with your general practitioner (GP). Be sure to let your GP and acupuncturist know if you are pregnant or have any existing chronic conditions, skin issues, breast or other implants, and medical devices such as pacemakers. While acupuncture can be a touch uncomfortable for some people, it is relatively pain-free. Let the practitioner know immediately if you experience anything other than a mild tingling sensation.
Additional Reading: Acupuncture: In Depth (National Institute of Health)
Southlake Natural Family Wellness
Our mission is to support the health and well-being of our patients by offering individualized, comprehensive holistic care including acupuncture, herbal recommendations, customized nutritional counseling, allergy elimination (NAET), whole food supplements, lifestyle suggestions, moxibustion, and cupping, as well as helping couples get pregnant and STAY pregnant by supporting all the paths to conception.
About Farrah Hamraie
Farrah Hamraie, L.Ac, MOM, Dipl.OM (NCCAOM), is licensed and board-certified in Acupuncture and Herbal medicine in the State of Texas with a Masters of Oriental Medicine from the Dallas College of Oriental Medicine. She is also a Diplomat of NCCAOM (the National Certification Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine), a Board Certified Acupuncturist, Chinese Herbalist, and a member of the American Association of Oriental Medicine.