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In times of pain and sickness, patients typically turn to the traditional route: visit the doctor and get a prescription. However, many people are finding that this method fails to completely relieve their pain. They then turn to less conventional methods—like acupuncture—to seek additional relief.
Acupuncture stands out among non-traditional treatments because it has been clinically proven to relieve pain and symptoms of certain conditions. When combined with traditional medical treatments, acupuncture has provided additional healing for millions of people.
Yet, many people are still wary to use acupuncture, whether it’s due to a fear of needles or a disbelief in the practice. Let’s examine some of the benefits of acupuncture and help you decide if it’s right for you.
Who Could Benefit from Acupuncture?
Acupuncture originated in China but is now used throughout the world. According to Chinese philosophy, acupuncture works by balancing energy flows in the body. In Western medicine, it is believed that acupuncture works by stimulating nerves, muscles, and connective tissue to increase blood flow and trigger natural painkillers.
Although acupuncture is used for a wide array for diseases and injuries, studies show acupuncture has incredible potential to treat certain conditions:
- Back pain. Both true acupuncture and simulated acupuncture (pressure without needles) caused 15% greater improvement in low-back pain symptoms, according to the Archives of Internal Medicine.
- Headaches. Acupuncture may reduce frequency of tension headaches.
- Arthritis. Early research shows that acupuncture may relieve arthritic knee pain.
- Carpal tunnel syndrome. Taiwan researchers found that a group of patients with carpal tunnel syndrome responded better to acupuncture than they did to steroid pills.
- Dental pain. Acupuncture is said to relieve pain caused by dental extraction or surgery.
- Indigestion. At least one study has found that acupuncture has the potential to reduce heartburn and indigestion in pregnant women, when combined with medication.
- Radiation symptoms. Cancer patients undergoing radiation treatment may perceive fewer side effects (such as nausea and dry mouth) with acupuncture treatment, according to an American Cancer Society journal.
- Boosting certain medications. A Chinese study found a low dose of Prozac and acupuncture was just as effective at reducing anxiety as was a full-dose medication (with fewer drug-induced side effects).
What are the Benefits of Acupuncture?
The reasons why you might want to include acupuncture along with other medical practices include the following:
- Safe when performed by a professional
- Few side effects
- Can be used with other treatments
- Can be used by those who don’t respond well to medication or want to reduce medication
Be aware that acupuncture may cause bruising or soreness, and is dangerous for patients with bleeding disorders and those taking blood thinners. In very rare cases, the needles may damage an organ, infect the patient, or puncture a lung.
In order to lower the chance of side effects, choose a professional for your acupuncture treatment. The trained professionals at Physiomobility use acupuncture to boost our patients’ healing and recovery. Click here to request an appointment at one of our Toronto locations.