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Erase Pain With Acupuncture – Here’s How
Whether it’s chronic or temporary pain, acupuncture has been proven effective time and time again at relieving pain. We know that the thought of treating pain by being stuck with dozens of tiny needles might sound counter-productive. After all, wouldn’t this make the problem worse by creating more pain? The truth is, however, holistic practice of acupuncture is a safe and effective solution for relieving pain.
Pain And How It’s Created
According to a national survey, more than one third of adults in the U.S. have recently experienced pain lasting more than a day. Pain is the nervous system’s response to some form of stimuli. It may consist of sudden, sharp spikes in a localized area (e.g. lower back pain), or it can encompass the entire body with a lighter, more dull aching sensation (e.g. muscle aches from a bacterial or viral infection).
When we are physically hurt, pain receptors (nociceptive) are activated, which subsequently sends electrical signals through the spinal cord and to the brain. This, of course, creates the distinct painful feeling that you may be experiencing.
Pain Relief Through Acupuncture
The use of acupuncture for pain relief dates back thousands of years. While various cultures throughout the world have known about its pain-relieving properties for quite some time, science is just now allowing us to understand exactly what causes this effect.
Acupuncture’s pain-relieving properties lie within its biochemical effects. Acupuncture is believed to “downregulate” M1 macrophages and upregulates M2 macrophages, which subsequently releases more IL-10 (interleukin-10) concentrations.
So, what does this all mean and how does it relate to pain relief? IL-10 is anti-inflammatory cytokine that reduces swelling and inflammation as well as pain; therefore, promoting higher levels of IL-10 through acupuncture will naturally relieve pain. Placing acupuncture needles in target areas throughout the body triggers biochemical reactions that lead to higher levels of the anti-inflammatory cytokine IL-10. Acupuncture essentially triggers the body’s own self-healing mechanism. Each time a tiny needle is placed into the skin, the body responds by undergoing various biological changes. In turn, these changes generate the production of a natural anti-inflammatory and anti-pain chemical.
Benefits Of Treating Pain Through Acupuncture
- No harmful side effects, such as those typically experienced by regular users of acetaminophen, ibuprofen, and aspirin.
- Pain relief doesn’t diminish from long-term use of acupuncture.
- Fact-acting, often yielding pain relief within minutes.
- Strengthens the body’s immune system.
- Safe, painless procedure that’s performed by a licensed acupuncturist.
If you would like to learn more about treating pain with acupuncture, please contact us!
Can You Lose Weight with Acupuncture?
According to a study published in the Journal of American Medicine (JAMA), more than one third of adults in the U.S. are clinically obese making it a top concern among health professionals in the United States. People with obesity are more likely to develop heart disease, diabetes, and even certain types of cancer.
While there’s no substitution for exercise and a well-balanced diet, the ancient Chinese practice of acupuncture may promote weight loss in adults battling obesity. Numerous studies have reinforced the belief that acupuncture can aid in weight loss. So instead of embarking on a potentially dangerous “fad” diet, such as an all-liquid lemon detox diet, consider acupuncture treatment to assist in your weight loss efforts instead.
Dr. Burak Bahar at Turkey’s Ankara Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation Training and Research Hospital conducted a study to determine the effect of acupuncture on patients who were clinically obese. Dr. Bahar and his team of colleagues found that acupuncture treatment resulted in lower levels of both leptin and insulin. So, why is this important?
Leptin is responsible for regulating the metabolism and storage of fats in the body, as well as creating the feeling of a full stomach. People who suffer from obesity tend to have exceptionally high levels of this compound, which subsequently stops them from feeling full after eating. By lowering levels of leptin, people who are struggling to lose weight will once again feel full; thus, promoting safe and natural weight loss.
Insulin works in a similar manner as leptin, only for carbohydrates instead of fats. Insulin also regulates the absorption of glucose in the blood.
“Acupuncture treatment decreased insulin and leptin levels and induced weight loss, together with a decrease in BMI compared with sham acupuncture. Furthermore, between-group analyses demonstrated increases in plasma ghrelin and CCK levels in subjects who received acupuncture treatment,” wrote Dr. Burak Bahar.
But the weight loss benefits of acupuncture don’t end there. Acupuncture is known to reduce levels of the naturally occurring hormone cortisol. Produced by the zona fasciculata of the adrenal cortex, cortisol is known as the “stress hormone.” People with high levels experience greater stress and anxiety, which can lead to further weight gain. By reducing the levels of cortisol in the body, adults battling obesity will have an easier time shedding those unwanted pounds.
Acupuncture is not some miracle weight loss procedure, nor it is touted as one. However, combined with regular exercise and a well-balanced diet, it can help significantly in getting adults back to a healthy, sustainable weight.