2. Reduce pain
Whether you suffer from joint pain, headaches, menstrual cramps or a generalized body pain such as in fibromyalgia, acupuncture has a great track record in reducing pain by improving blood flow, reducing inflammation and by regulating nervous and hormonal system.
3. Reduce anxiety, depression and improve sleep
Life is stressful and stress can impact our physical and mental health.
It's been well supported by research that acupuncture can modulate our nervous and hormonal system and reduce anxiety and depression and improve sleep.
4. It works!
Both World Health Organization (WHO) and National Institute of Health (NIS) recognize acupuncture to be effective treatment of over 50 western medical diseases.
5. It is relaxing and enjoyable!
What other medical treatment will make you leave smiling and relaxed?
Fibromyalgia is a common chronic syndrome affecting women more than men. It is characterized by widespread pain, fatigue, and sleep disturbance. Other symptoms may include cognitive difficulties known as 'fibro fog' (difficulty in paying attention or concentrating on mental tasks), headaches, paresthesia (tingling, numbness, chilling or burning skin sensations).
Fibromyalgia is believed to be a neurobiological disorder that is referred to as central sensitivity syndrome. It means that pain sensations felt in fibromyalgia are likely due to hypersensitivity of the central nervous system and the way it processes pain.
Can acupuncture help?
A consensus statement from the US National Institutes of Health (NIH) concluded that acupuncture may be useful as an adjunct treatment or may be an acceptable alternative treatment in comprehensive management program for fibromyalgia.
Recently, even BlueCross BlueShield, a major health insurance company, dropped opioids for the management of chronic pain, and is adding acupuncture as an alternative.
This shows that acupuncture is well recognized within Western medical institutions as a valuable option in treating chronic pain.
From the Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) perspective, the diagnosis will be made based on the symptoms that the patient presents. If, for instance, one patient may suffer from chronic pain with the tingling and burning sensations in the skin, they will get different diagnosis and treatment, than the patient who suffers from chronic pain and cognitive difficulties. The TCM practitioner will also treat the root of the problem as well as the symptoms. In addition to acupuncture, the treatment may include herbs, moxibuction, cupping, and lifestyle modifications such as changes in diet and exercise.
The treatment usually lasts 6-12 weeks, depending on the severity of the condition and on the individual's response to the treatment.
A randomized controlled trial with fibromyalgia patients published in Journal of Rehabilitation Medicine showed that acupuncture was beneficial for pain and quality of life 3 months after the end of the treatment with some improvements lasting one year after the treatments.
This study evaluated acupuncture treatments alone. It did not include other forms of TCM treatments that may be included in your acupuncturist's clinic (mentioned above: herbs, exercise, dietary changes..), that may contribute to even more lasting improvements.
Targino, R., Imamura, M., Kaziyama, H., Souza, L., Hsing, W., Furlan, A., . . . Neto, R. A. (2008). A randomized controlled trial of acupuncture added to usual treatment for fibromyalgia. Journal of Rehabilitation Medicine, 40(7), 582-588. doi:10.2340/16501977-0216
It seems we are deep into the season for all kinds of cold viruses. We hear people sneeze and cough all around us. Either you had a cold or someone you know had it.
Can acupuncture and herbs help?
And the answer is … yes! As a matter of fact, a great body of knowledge of Oriental medicine is dedicated to fighting infectious and febrile diseases.
There are acupuncture points on your body that, when stimulated by needles or warmed by moxa, can effectively relieve nasal and sinus congestion, sore throat, headaches, cough and strengthen your immune system.
There are also very many herbal formulas that treat respiratory diseases in various stages, from common cold with nasal congestion, to pneumonia.
But, there are also things in your kitchen cabinets that can be very helpful. Here is a simple remedy:
1/2 inch of fresh ginger, cut into small pieces
1 piece of cinnamon bark or 1/2 tsp of cinnamon powder
1 quarter of a small lemon
1 tsp of honey
10 oz of water
Bring water to a boil and add all of the ingredients. Steep at lower temperature for 20 minutes. When done, let is stay for 5-10 minutes, then strain the liquid. Drink slowly.
Chicken soup is also very effective, especially if you add garlic, onions, turmeric and black pepper.
Seasonal colds and flu may be also prevented by taking herbal formulas and having acupuncture treatments in early Fall, before the start of the flu season.