Benefits Of Acupuncture Acupuncture Health Benefits

According to traditional Chinese medicine, the benefits of acupuncture result from removing blockages that interfere with the energy flow in the body. Western science attempts to explain the benefits in terms of quantifiable biological and physiological changes in the body.

Acupuncture Health Benefits

Western scientific research clearly supports the benefits of acupuncture for pain relief and for nausea after chemotherapy. The World Health Organization provides a longer list of conditions that may benefit from acupuncture–as reported in clinical trials–such as:

  • Allergic rhinitis
  • Depression
  • Hypertension
  • Menstrual cramps
  • Rheumatoid arthritis
  • Stroke.

Although many people find acupuncture relaxing, the use of acupuncture for relaxation without other symptoms is not common. Rather, relaxation is one of the acupuncture health benefits that helps the body heal itself.

Other benefits of acupuncture include its role in preventive medicine. By treating and clearing up minor symptoms that Western medicine often considers insignificant, you may prevent major problems from developing. However, diseases that manifest with little to no symptoms, such as early hypertension, still need to be medically addressed.

Acupuncture Side Effects

Among the benefits of acupuncture is that acupuncture side effects are uncommon when you receive treatment from a trained, qualified practitioner. The insertion of the needles may cause bruising, and in rare cases, an improperly trained practitioner can puncture an organ. To avoid the risk of spreading disease and infection, practitioners use one-time disposable needles, which are regulated by the U.S. Federal Drug and Food Administration.

Acupuncture is unlikely to have adverse interactions with other treatments. Although some sources caution against the use of acupuncture for people taking blood thinners, a 2008 article in “Geriatrics and Aging” noted that, over a 15-year period, acupuncture was safely performed on patients with spinal cord injuries who were taking blood thinners. However, for your safety, it is always important to let both your acupuncturist and other healthcare providers know about all the treatments you are receiving and medications you are taking.

Resources

Helms, J.M. (n.d.). An overview of medical acupuncture. Retrieved February 28, 2011, from http://www.medicalacupuncture.org/acu_info/articles/helmsarticle.html

National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine. (2009). Acupuncture: An Introduction. Retrieved February 28, 2011, from http://nccam.nih.gov/health/acupuncture/introduction.htm

Rapson, L.M., and Banner, R. (2008). Acupuncture for pain management: Contraindications to acupuncture treatment. Retrieved February 28, 2011, from http://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/573858_4

World Health Organization. (2003). Acupuncture: Review and analysis of reports on controlled clinical trials. Retrieved February 28, 2011, from http://apps.who.int/medicinedocs/en/d/Js4926e/5.html