Acupuncture is widely acknowledged as an effective treatment for many different ailments and conditions, but many people are still scared away by scary misconceptions or misinformation regarding the prickly needle treatment.
According to Mayo Clinic, acupuncture is a traditional Chinese medicine that is used to treat pain and enhance overall wellness. It’s a technique that involves inserting hair-thin needles through your skin at target points on your body, known as “meridians.”
Although there are different theories about how acupuncture works, a large body of scientific research shows that it is effective in treating many conditions and ailments. If you’re thinking about trying acupuncture, here are some of the top benefits and reasons to do so.
1. It reduces stress.
If you work a very stressful job or just experience high levels of stress daily, acupuncture may help you relax. Researchers have found that acupuncture activates natural painkillers in the body by triggering the release of endorphins. Additional research has shown that electronic acupuncture also provides a protective barrier against the body’s stress response.
2. It can help you overcome addictive behaviors.
The release of endorphins triggered by acupuncture may also help you manage the physical and emotional pain associated with some drug withdrawal syndromes. “Holistic treatment methods like acupuncture are commonly used in addiction treatment because they can help prevent relapse and manage ongoing recovery,” says Mat Gorman, CEO of Briarwood Detox Center. Using acupuncture throughout an Austin drug rehab program may seem odd, but it can help clients feel better and sustain their sobriety for longer.
3. It can alleviate symptoms of seasonal allergies.
If you are completely dependent on allergy medication and you simply can’t function when your allergies strike, it might be worth giving acupuncture a shot! Acupuncture treatment can work to alleviate symptoms of seasonal allergies by clearing your nasal passages, supporting the immune system, and strengthening other systems of the body to prevent additional allergic reactions.
4. It can ease chronic pain.
Many people suffer from chronic pain, which can make daily tasks very difficult and uncomfortable. If you have chronic back pain, knee pain, or neck pain, acupuncture may work particularly well for you as a pain relief treatment, according to the National Institute of Health (NIH). Not only is acupuncture a non-evasive and gentle way to treat chronic pain, but it’s also ideal if you don’t want to rely on pain medication for relief.
5. It can reduce symptoms of anxiety and depression.
Antidepressant medications come with a host of potentially harmful side effects, but acupuncture is an alternative holistic way to reduce symptoms of depression and treat the underlying condition. In one study, researchers found that electroacupuncture was just as effective as Prozac for the treatment of depression. Recent research has also shown that acupuncture can relieve symptoms of generalized anxiety disorder and may be a better option for people who did not respond to other treatments.
6. It can help with insomnia.
Insomnia can really take a toll on your health, your emotions, and your ability to function well every day. Not to mention, persistent lack of sleep can decrease your performance at work, contribute to fine lines and wrinkles, and may even cause symptoms of depression or anxiety. [READ: Factors That Influence the Quality and Quantity of Sleep You Get]
When combined with other calming sleep practices like drinking herbal tea or meditating, acupuncture can help you feel more well-rested and fall asleep faster, without all the risks involved with taking sleep aid medications.
7. It can be used to treat chronic headaches or migraines.
If you don’t respond well to migraine or headache medication, you’re not alone! This is a common problem. Fortunately, acupuncture can also be used to treat these issues. Researchers have found that acupuncture is an effective way to reduce the frequency of headaches and migraines that people experience.
If you’ve never considered acupuncture as a health and wellness treatment or you’re skeptical about its effectiveness, the scientific evidence is overwhelming. When performed by a trained practitioner, acupuncture is a safe and effective treatment for many physical and emotional problems. Seeing your acupuncturist regularly can promote ongoing health and wellness, especially if you suffer from any of the issues listed above.