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4 Lesser Known Benefits of Acupuncture

By March 3, 2017Acupuncture

Acupuncture is a discipline of Chinese medicine that uses a system to diagnose and treat a host of illnesses and conditions. It is a safe, effective therapy that has undergone thousands of years of refinement. Acupuncture is used by millions of people all over the world to recover from injuries and improve their health.

Acupuncture is widely known for the effective treatment of a host of conditions from circulatory disorders to joint pain. However, there are some lesser-known benefits of this ancient practice to treat physical and mental health conditions.

Management of Anxiety and Depression
Anxiety is the most common mental health condition in Canada. Anxiety disorders will affect more than 12% of Canadians at some point in their lives. However, the commonality of mood disorders does not mean that they are generally well understood in our culture. Thankfully, with significant awareness campaigns, we have been able to shed some of the stigma associated with seeking treatment for mental health challenges.

Adding to the treatments that are traditionally used to help manage anxiety and depression, acupuncture has been shown to provide results that are similar to those of counselling alone. When acupuncture and counselling are combined, the result is a drug-free intervention that significantly reduced the symptoms of depression when compared to traditional Western care methods alone.

Headache Treatment and Relief
The pain and misery that chronic headache sufferers endure is something that is hard to describe to those who have never experienced it. It’s more than just the throbbing pain (though that is a significant obstacle on its own); severe headaches or migraines may also involve sensitivity to sound and light, distorted vision and nausea and vomiting. What’s worse, even prescription pain medication may not offer much relief to some patients.

In a meta-analysis of 11 trials with over 2,000 participants, those who sought acupuncture treatment for headaches achieved a significant reduction in both the number of headache days and the intensity of pain. It’s clear that acupuncture can be a valuable tool in the treatment of headaches, welcome news to anyone who has experienced this debilitating condition.

Reducing Gastrointestinal Discomfort
Even young children are no stranger to the dreaded bellyache. Gastrointestinal discomfort can be caused by anything from too much food at dinner to life-threatening diseases. In many less severe cases, the source of gastrointestinal pain may not even be identified, yet it still causes ongoing discomfort. Acupuncture has been used to treat multiple sources of stomach pain successfully.

First, like any medical treatment, acupuncture to help alleviate the symptoms of gastrointestinal discomfort will start with a detailed assessment to diagnose the source of the problem. If you have already been diagnosed with Inflammatory Bowel Disease, Irritable Bowel Syndrome, diabetes or stomach ulcers, your acupuncturist can help develop a treatment plan based on your individual case.

When the source of your gastrointestinal discomfort has not yet been identified, like unexplained nausea and vomiting or pain, your acupuncturist can work with you to help manage the symptoms while identifying the cause.

Relief from Symptoms of Menopause
Once upon a time, hormone replacement therapy (HRT) was one of the only recommended treatments to ease the discomfort of menopause. However, not all women are ideal candidates for HRT. Those women with a strong family history of breast or uterine cancer, diminished liver function or a history of blood clots have been left with few options to help manage the discomforts of the onset of menopause.

Thankfully, that is no longer the case. In clinical trials, acupuncture holds significant promise for providing nonhormonal relief of the hot flashes and sleep disturbances that are among the most common discomforts experienced by menopausal women.

Acupuncture is but one of many safe, effective therapies that can be employed to help you get more out of every day. With the integrative treatments of chiropractic, massage therapy, physiotherapy and acupuncture, Achieve Health can help you reach your health goals and live a pain-free life. Book an appointment online at our Victoria clinic or a consultation to get started.