The term “acupuncture” gets tossed around the wellness industry quite often, but what does it actually entail? Does it work? Is it safe? Let’s explore this unique healing technique and learn why many healthcare professionals have started using acupuncture as their secret weapon for wellness.
How Does Acupuncture Work?
Acupuncture has been studied and practiced as a healing method for thousands of years. It originated as an approach in Chinese medicine, and now it’s used worldwide, including in Western medicine.
Acupuncture works by stimulating different nerve-rich areas of the body with thin, disposable needles. It aims to achieve a balance in the body by promoting specific responses to stimulation, including increased blood flow and natural painkillers produced by the body. Although not all doctors believe acupuncture has significant health benefits, many clients come back for multiple treatments after noticing reduced symptoms and pain after the fact.
Acupuncture is often used to reduce pain in specific parts of the body, but it can also provide relief for a variety of other ailments, including headaches, digestive problems, allergies, and more. Many people with unusual ailments that are difficult to treat often turn to acupuncture for relief. Here are five benefits of acupuncture you may not have known about.
Relief from Digestive Issues
For those with digestive issues like irritable bowel syndrome, Crohn’s disease, and chronic constipation, acupuncture can provide much-needed relief. Acupuncture works on the gut by reducing inflammation, promoting normal digestive behaviours, and impacting gastric secretions.
Although some people come for acupuncture treatments looking for a boost in energy, in most cases this is a happy side effect of any acupuncture session. Increased energy is often the result of increased blood flow and reduced stress levels after a treatment.
Although you may feel a boost in energy directly after your session, you should be sure to rest and relax. The great news is that most people feel this energy boost long after their session has ended and into the next few days or even weeks.
Improved Sleep & Overall Relaxation
Relieving stress can also contribute to better sleep. Most people leave acupuncture treatments feeling more relaxed and at ease. However, the ability of acupuncture to help with sleep is more than just a side effect of treatment. Acupuncture is often used as a part of a treatment plan for insomnia. It works by stimulating the production of melatonin and other biochemicals in the body that typically contribute to a more restful sleep.
Relief from Respiratory Disorders
Acupuncture can help people with certain respiratory disorders breathe easier. It’s often used for ailments like allergies, whooping cough, asthma, bronchitis, and COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease). Some recent studies have shown that in combination with medications, acupuncture helps people with COPD walk further without feeling short of breath.
Relief from Menstrual Cramps and Cycle Irregularities
Women with cycle irregularities will be happy to know that acupuncture can help normalize menstrual cycles while also reducing pain and cramping. In a 2002 study, acupuncture was tested as a treatment for PMS (premenstrual syndrome) and found to be highly effective in reducing symptoms.
What to Expect from an Acupuncture Session
A trained acupuncturist from Therapeutic Body Concepts will walk you through a pre-treatment assessment. After this, he or she will insert needles into specific pressure points on your body to provide relief for specific pain points or ailments. Although the treatment uses needles, most people don’t experience any type of pain during an acupuncture treatment, but there may be a slight soreness or heaviness in some areas during or after treatment.
There are a few post-session care tips and tricks you can use to extend the effects and feel great long after you’ve headed home from your appointment. Check out our acupuncture information to learn more about what to expect.