The aim of this list is to convince you to let some impale you with needles in various places on your body.
And I’m not going to lie to you, it does hurt. In fact it can hurt quite a bit, there’s really no way around that.
But it works for most people. There’s a lot of ways that it can improve your health and help you deal with pain and injury.
Like many practices used in modern Western medicine, this therapy originated in Ancient China and has been used there for centuries.
The idea is that the acupuncture points on your body are areas where nerves, muscles and connective tissue can be stimulated.
Inserting the needles causes all of these things to contract which increases blood flow and helps to release pain relieving nutrients.
There is a some speculation as to whether or not it has valid roots in science, however many people have reported satisfactory results.
Here’s five ways that acupuncture has been know to improve the health of those who try it.
1. Addiction Recovery
Before I delve much further into this, it’s important to note that acupuncture should just be something that you use essentially to supplement addiction rehabilitation.
You will still need to go through therapy, counselling and support groups and other forms for rehab but acupuncture can help in some ways.
The practice of using needles to aid in addiction recovery has been used since the 1970s and is commonly referred to as ‘acudetox’.
This specific type of acupuncture treatment involves inserting the needles into the patient’s ear, with the intention of easing the symptoms of withdrawal.
The withdrawal symptoms of hard drug addiction can be pretty extreme, and they’re not going to go away easily. A more severe treatment such as acupuncture is generally more effective.
There’s five points on the outer ear which are targeted in an acudetox, each one serving a different area of your body that’s affected by withdrawal.
It can help ease the tension caused by withdrawal as well as control your cravings.
2. Chronic Pain
Again this might not necessarily work for everyone because it all depends on what is actually causing your chronic pain.
If you have some kind of serious muscle or skeletal condition that is causing you pain then there is probably other, more specific treatments that you need to seek out.
But for pain that is a result of general wear and tear or as a result of your lifestyle or something like your posture, then acupuncture can be helpful.
Most people will find that if they have some kind of chronic pain, it’s in their neck or their back, and it’s more than likely myofascial.
This word is just a technical term for muscle pain that happens as a result of strain or inflammation.
This sort of pain can be relieved by deactivating the pain receptors. Applying needle therapy to the affected areas will be painful, but it can help the muscles relax.
It will also help to regulate your endorphin levels which will in turn lower your awareness of your pain.
3. Cognitive Decline
As you get older there is certain health issues you are going to have to deal with that can be mental or physical, or both in some cases.
Cognitive decline is one of those problems that affects many, many people and it’s essentially a blanket term used to describe a variety of issues.
All of these issues relate to cognition, which is your brain’s ability to gather information and subsequently process that information and put it to use.
Some of the more common things that would be attributed to cognitive decline are degenerative diseases such as dementia or parkinson’s.
While it won’t cure any of these issues, it has been shown to be particularly effective in helping sufferers of Parkinson’s disease deal with their illness.
The thalamus and the putamen are areas of your brain that are seriously affected by Parkinson’s and acupuncture can generate a neural response in those areas.
This will increase the reaction time and subdue common symptoms of Parkinson’s such as the tremors and the difficulty with movement.
4. Migraine Relief
Chronic headaches in general can be treated with acupuncture but there’s a lot of easy treatments for headaches.
Migraines on the other hand are a completely different story. They are significantly more painful than regular headaches and are extremely debilitating.
Migraine relief is probably one of the most popular reasons why acupuncture is used and it’s probably one of the things that it’s most useful for too.
Once again, the effectiveness stems from the release of the endorphins which will fight the toxins influencing your migraine.
People who suffer from very regular migraines have been recommended to go through twelve acupuncture treatments over the course of three months.
The more the endorphins spread through your body on a regular basis, the less chance you will have to deal with migraines.
And if they still occur, they should be significantly less painful. In addition to acupuncture, other chinese medical practices are effective against headaches.
Gua Sha can help relief that kind of pain especially when it’s focused on the face and neck. Here’s a guide to that particular therapy on Complete Home Spa.
5. Treats Insomnia
This one also comes down to endorphins. Sensing a common thread here by any chance? Our body’s chemical makeup is important for our health.
There’s a lot of reasons why you could be suffering from insomnia. It could be your diet, it could be the lack of a regular sleeping pattern or it could be stress.
In the case of all of these, you will have to overcome them by finding the route of the problem and then seeking out a solution.
But even if you do that, your body will likely be used to the inability to sleep. Trouble sleeping will become your sleeping pattern.
Acupuncture can help your body relax and also rebalance the endorphins necessary for you to be able to fall asleep.
And while you can always resort to sleeping pills, they tend to come with side effects and can cause other issues. Acupuncture is relatively side effect free.
In general, acupuncture won’t cure anything entirely, but it can help relief you of a lot of pain and stress.
Always remember that if you’re going to give this treatment a try, seek out reputable, professional therapists.
And also remember that while some people do doubt the effectiveness and validity of the therapy, the results are well documented.