Acupuncture is a traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) therapy that can help relieve pain, but did you know that it can also be effective for other health issues such as allergies, anxiety, and depression? The question of “What can acupuncture treat?” is divided into two categories: curative and palliative. Acupuncture cures some conditions and simply helps control other symptoms and conditions. For example, if you overwork your body after a period of inactivity, you may experience joint pain or muscle spasms due to overuse. Acupuncture can decrease inflammation and release muscle tension to relieve pain, so you are healed until you push yourself too hard again. Acupuncture may help decrease low back pain and knee pain due to the wear and tear of osteoarthritis (OA).
A review of 41 randomized, controlled trials concluded that acupuncture is a safe and effective complementary therapy for cancer patients suffering from nausea and vomiting induced by chemotherapy. Additionally, acupuncture can also help relieve and prevent nausea during pregnancy. In a randomized, controlled study conducted in Australia, 593 women in the early stages of pregnancy reported symptoms of nausea or vomiting. The women were divided into four groups: one group received typical acupuncture, another received acupuncture only at the acupuncture point of pericardium 6 (a pressure point believed to reduce nausea), another received simulated acupuncture (in which needles were placed outside formal acupuncture points), and a control group received no acupuncture.
Each experimental group received one treatment per week for four weeks. Women in the typical acupuncture group reported less nausea throughout the study and generally felt better than women in the other groups. A review by the same authors of the above-mentioned migraine review examined 12 trials of participants who experienced acute and chronic tension headaches. The reviewers found that acupuncture can be effective in treating this type of pain, but more trials, especially those comparing acupuncture with other treatment options, are needed to corroborate these findings. During an acupuncture treatment, the acupuncturist inserts very fine needles into specific points on the body. Many people use acupuncture to relieve pain throughout the body, including for migraines, back pain, and arthritis.
According to Sheinberg, acupuncture can work for insomnia by calming the sympathetic nervous system, or the fight or flight response, to better prepare the body for sleep. Ask your acupuncturist and insurance company about coverage, including the number of treatments your plan will cover. In addition, a review of 22 trials involving patients undergoing migraine prophylaxis revealed that acupuncture treatments can be just as effective as prophylactic drug treatments (conventional medical approaches taken daily to prevent migraines). The acupuncturist inserts needles at different depths, from a fraction of an inch to a couple of inches. A current of thinking about how acupuncture can help reduce pain focuses on the body's healing response.
Some doctors and doctors of osteopathic medicine also practice acupuncture with varying levels of traditional Chinese medicine and experience in medical acupuncture. Acupuncturists insert needles into specific acupuncture points in the ear to relieve chronic back pain and pain caused by cancer. Acupuncture is a traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) therapy to balance the body's energy, known as qi, which travels through several energy pathways, known as meridians. Some forms of acupuncture aim to rebalance the qi with needles that touch acupuncture points (acupuncture points) throughout the body. Research suggests that in addition to helping to relieve certain types of chronic pain, acupuncture can also relieve headaches or migraines. However, by stimulating specific acupuncture points, acupuncture can release chemicals that promote relaxation and sleep such as serotonin and gamma-aminobutyric acid according to a Sleep Medicine study.
To get public comments on whether to include acupuncture therapy and the payment of licensed acupuncturists in exchange for a federal payment, the Society for Acupuncture Research (SAR) described several research findings including a meta-analysis published in Pain.