Acupuncture is a very popular Traditional Chinese Medicine treatment where thin needles are used to stimulate specific points in the body. From this thousand-year tradition, it is now a common treatment found in most big cities. However, most people remain doubtful as to how a Chinese acupuncture session can really benefit them.
I am a big fan of acupuncture, being someone who has benefitted a lot with the treatment. I had suffered a lot because of migraine. These were not the same as normal headaches because it would hurt even in my neck and I would also have problems with my eyesight. Sometimes, I would literally be unable to do anything and would have to stay in a dark room for hours. The problem is, there is no clear reason why I was having the migraine episodes and going to the doctor was useless because he couldn’t do much about it.
A colleague who had heard of my problems suggested going to a Traditional Chinese Medicine clinic. She informed me that relieving migraines was one of the benefits of Chinese acupuncture. At first, I was not convinced but after a while of trying other ways without any success, I was getting desperate. I just wanted to finally find a way to reduce these episodes. Although drinking pain medication helped a bit, it was not necessarily the solution I was looking for long-term.
Much like other people, I was worried about whether acupuncture will hurt, because of the use of needles. The acupuncturist, however, tried to reassure me by showing me how the needles look like and explaining how he will be doing the treatment. Contrary to what I thought in the beginning, they were not scary and big so I was less worried. Because I also went to a Traditional Chinese Medicine clinic, which practices acupuncture based on the centuries-old beliefs, they could also explain the basis of the treatment. The acupuncturist was also, of course, well-trained and experienced, so I knew I was in good hands. I find it very important to always turn to qualified experts whenever I go through procedures.
My decision to go through acupuncture was to reduce my migraines. However, there are also a number of reasons why other patients go for a session:
- Headaches and Migraines
Acupuncture has been proven by research to be helpful in treating those who suffer from tension-type headaches. This is great news in providing patients an option other than taking pain medication. Even as the study followed up on the participants, those who received acupuncture treatment during the study reported a continued decrease in frequency and intensity of headaches. On the other hand, the control group who did not receive any treatment at all has not had any change in their symptoms at all.
- Chronic Pain
Pain can occur in various parts of the body, from the neck, back, or knee. Moreover, some conditions, like arthritis, can also make life very uncomfortable and painful for patients. Treatment of chronic pain is one of the traditional benefits of acupuncture, offering people a medication-free option to deal with aches and throbbing that they suffer from.
In fact, there have been numerous studies that have tried to test the effectiveness of acupuncture in treating chronic pain. When it comes to back pain, researchers in the University Medical Center of Berlin have shown that going for sessions significantly reduced symptoms compared to those who have not had any treatment done.
Moreover, a more recent study by the Memorial-Sloan-Kettering Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics covering more than 17,000 patients has shown that the procedure has successfully managed not just back pain, but also neck pain, arthritis, shoulder pain, and chronic headaches.
If you are suffering from sleepless nights, you might also find acupuncture beneficial. Going for sessions has been shown by researchers are more successful in dealing with sleep problems than taking medication or other herbal treatments. Moreover, there are no side effects compared to taking sleeping pills.
- Chemotherapy and Cancer
Those who are suffering from cancer suffer from a lot of side effects of chemotherapy, and adding acupuncture sessions can help reduce these. Additionally, research has shown promise in acupuncture boosting immunity, helping patients recover faster after treatment.
- Cognitive Decline
A study done by the Department of Neurology of the University of Maryland School of Medicine has reported improvements in symptoms of cognitive decline after 16 sessions of acupuncture. That means, 85% of patients were able to walk, write and process information better. Other symptoms of cognitive conditions like tremor, confusion and anxiety were also reduced.
- Pregnancy, Labor, and Postpartum
More women are turning to acupuncture during and after pregnancy. Because acupuncture is believed good for stress relief and hormone balance, it might help women reduce strain and anxiety during this time. It is also used to prepare the body for labor. However, as there are some points that should be avoided when the patient is pregnant, make sure that you have a session with someone who is specifically knowledgeable in this area.
In fact, acupuncture is one of the most studied treatments out there, with many scientists trying to check whether acupuncture is somehow a placebo. As more studies are done and published, it becomes even clearer that these benefits are real, and that going for regular sessions can truly bring a lot of benefits and even support other treatments like chemotherapy.