Whether it’s body pain, stress or simply trying to maintain a healthy diet and lifestyle, people today are faced with many challenges when it comes to their health. Managing these issues is not easy and people are turning to the ancient practice of acupuncture for relief.
Originating in ancient China, acupuncture has served as a principal method of healing for thousands of years. Early practitioners believed that the flow of qi, or life energy, was responsible for the body’s health, and that any interruption to the normal flow of this energy could create disease or pain. They devised a comprehensive “map” of the body displaying hundreds of points, known as meridians, where the flow of qi could be diverted or corrected through the insertion of tiny, hair-thin needles.
Today, the practice of acupuncture is used to relieve discomfort associated with a variety of diseases and conditions, and it’s becoming more and more common as people are finding the results immensely beneficial to their overall wellness. Let’s look at some of the ways in which it can help.
Anxiety and depression are two of the most common mental health disorders in the world. In addition to mental distress, they can also cause physical strains as the body can feel mental illness resulting in fatigue. Acupuncture is a great way to ease both types of symptoms.
Traditional Chinese medicine relates anxiety to an imbalance of the heart and kidney, so acupuncture on points around the heart, kidney, spleen and ear are used to treat anxiety. According to CNS Neuroscience and Therapeutics, it was proved that acupuncture is comparable to cognitive-behavioral therapy, which psychologists often use to treat anxiety.
As for depression, it’s considered to be a problem with circulating qi around your body, according to traditional Chinese beliefs. The main organ responsible for circulating qi is recognized as the liver with the heart and spleen playing supporting roles. The most common acupuncture treatment used to increase the flow of qi is known as The Four Gates. This involves stimulating source points on both hands between the thumb and index finger and both feet between the big toe and second toe. In one 2013 study, researchers found that electroacupuncture, a type of acupuncture that uses a mild electric current transmitted through the needles, was just as effective as fluoxetine (Prozac) in easing depression symptoms.
In addition to helping with specific conditions such as depression and anxiety, many people seek out acupuncture to just manage their general stress, so don’t hesitate to try it if you need to take some time out to yourself to refocus.
Migraines and headaches are a common issue, but they can be debilitating when dealing with them on a regular basis. When traditional medicine hasn’t helped ease migraine pain, many migraine sufferers decide to explore alternative methods of treatment. The overarching belief for how acupuncture eases migraine pain is that it activates pathways in the brain that are responsible for turning pain off. When it comes to effectiveness, studies have supported the claim that acupuncture treatments of at least six treatment sessions can be a valuable option for people with migraines. It may also help with the frequency and intensity of migraines.
Many people think certain types of pain can only be managed through medication, but acupuncture can be an effective tool for relieving pain in targeted areas of the body. At NJ Spine and Wellness, we encourage patients suffering from pain to use acupuncture for relief. We recommend using it in addition chiropractic care to achieve better healing results. Here are a few of the ways it can help:
Some people seek out acupuncture because they want to find a way to stop using certain medications. Make sure to speak with your doctor before stopping any medication or trying something new, especially if you are dealing with a chronic pain condition.
Sleep is essential for you to get through your day, but many of us find thoughts swirling around our mind when it’s time to settle in for the night. For those who struggle with falling asleep, acupuncture can be used to help relax your mind and can potentially replace any sleeping pills or medications. According to Sleep.org, “More research is needed to find out exactly how much acupuncture can help improve sleep, but it can help you feel more relaxed and less anxious, which may encourage you to fall asleep easier. Acupuncture has also been shown to help manage sleep apnea, perhaps because it strengthens the tongue and prevents it from dropping back during the night and blocking your airway.” Sleep is essential to your general health and wellbeing so if you struggle with insomnia, it’s worth trying acupuncture to see if it can help with quieting your mind at night.
Just like many other bad habits, food cravings are considered an addiction. When paired with a good nutritional plan, acupuncture can help to curb these food cravings, improving people’s overall weight-loss journeys. While acupuncture alone may not help with weight loss, a 2018 review of 27 clinical trials found that it showed promising results when paired with lifestyle modifications. At NJ Spine and Wellness, our nutritional team believes in integrating healthy dietary habits into patients’ daily lifestyles for long-term effectiveness. Acupuncture can be a great complement to the nutritional modifications people are already making as it can help to slow the mind and get the body ready for change.
Most likely getting acupuncture treatments alone is not going to be a cure-all for any of the issues we mentioned above, but they can certainly be beneficial when done in tandem with other treatments. At NJ Spine and Wellness, we take a multidisciplinary approach to wellness and will often recommend acupuncture in tandem with chiropractic care or physical therapy. If you are interested in learning more about how acupuncture can help you with your wellness goals, we encourage you to contact NJ Spine and Wellness to speak with one of our licensed acupuncturists. Call us at 877-333-6579 to make an appointment today. Visit the NJ Spine and Wellness location page for details on specific hours and locations for our Old Bridge, Freehold and Matawan centers.