Understanding Acupuncture And Its Benefits
Acupuncture has become more prevalent in Western health over recent years. This millennia-old practice, based on the principles of Traditional Chinese Medicine, takes a more holistic approach to wellness. In this blog, we will discuss acupuncture in detail and the health benefits it can offer.
What Is Acupuncture?
At its core, acupuncture involves the insertion of thin, sterile needles into specific points on the body. Traditional Chinese Medicine posits that the body has more than 2,000 acupuncture points interconnected through pathways or meridians, which create an energy flow or ‘Qi’ (pronounced ‘chee’).
The central principle of acupuncture is to restore the harmonious flow of this Qi, thereby promoting the body’s ability to heal itself. While the idea of Qi and meridians might seem abstract, contemporary research has started to provide a physiological basis for these concepts, linking them with our nervous and circulatory systems.
How Does Acupuncture Work?
From a Western perspective, the precise mechanism through which acupuncture works remains a subject of scientific investigation. However, several theories offer insights into this.
One of the recognised theories suggests that acupuncture stimulates the nervous system to release certain chemicals in the muscles, spinal cord and brain. These biochemical changes may stimulate the body’s natural healing abilities and promote physical and emotional well-being.
Other theories suggest that acupuncture works by:
- Altering the secretion of neurotransmitters and influencing the immune system.
- Changing blood flow dynamics through vasodilation and vasoconstriction.
- Stimulating the release of natural opioids, reducing perceived pain.
The Benefits Of Acupuncture
While more research is needed to conclusively understand the mechanisms of acupuncture, clinical studies and anecdotal evidence support its use for various conditions.
Acupuncture is commonly used for pain relief, particularly in chronic conditions like arthritis, lower back pain, migraines and menstrual cramps.
Mental Health Support
Acupuncture is also used as an adjunctive therapy for mental health issues such as anxiety and depression. While it’s not a cure, patients often report a reduction in symptoms and improved quality of life with regular treatments.
Digestive issues like irritable bowel syndrome, constipation and gastritis have also been addressed using acupuncture, with patients reporting improved digestive function.
Insomnia and other sleep disorders may also be addressed with acupuncture, which can help balance the body’s natural rhythms.
Studies have shown acupuncture can help manage respiratory diseases such as allergic rhinitis, asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).
While acupuncture has shown positive results in these areas, it’s important to note that what works for one individual might not work for the other. That’s why it is always recommended to consult with a therapist before starting any new treatment.
Experience The Benefits Of Acupuncture In Gladstone
At CQ Chiropractic, we conduct a medical history assessment and a physical evaluation during the initial acupuncture appointment. We may also suggest lifestyle changes to complement your sessions. Contact us to find out more about acupuncture or the other interventions that are available to help promote your well-being.
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