Medical Issues that can be easily cured by Acupuncture
Acupuncture is a treatment that has interested doctors and medical professionals alike for a number of years. Derived from ancient Chinese medicine and consisting of fine needles being expertly inserted through the skin at specific points of the body, medical acupuncture as a treatment is both a therapeutic and scientifically proven way of managing pain by stimulating sensory nerves under the skin.
Having said that, Acupunctures services are most commonly used as a complementary treatment rather than a standalone resource; being used in addition to more traditional methods of pain relief administered by medical professionals.
As a dedicated team of physiotherapists, the most common use of acupuncture in our own line of work is for musculoskeletal conditions and pain management. One of the most successful uses of acupuncture is as a response to chronic pain in the neck and back, either caused by sports injuries or other lifestyle choices such as prolonged sitting as part of an office job.
The needles used in Acupuncture are inserted into what we call ‘acupuncture points’, selected based on your condition and inserted to the appropriate depth depending on your pain level. Once inserted, these needles can be left for up to 30 minutes.
So, what other conditions treated by acupuncture might we experience and come across?
– Migraines are one of the more common ailments that can be treated with medical acupuncture, as the needles can reduce inflammation and promote the dispersal of swelling by increasing circulation around the area of pain. Another way that acupuncture aids pain relief – not just in migraines but all over the body – is by activating nerves and releasing endorphins, which immediately cause relief.
– Dental pain can cause a real problem for many individuals, not only due to the nature of the constant discomfort but also in terms of the reduced ability to eat normally. Treating oral pain can be done with prescribed drugs but in many cases, it has been found that acupuncture provides a longer lasting relief by treating the muscles directly, especially after significant dental work has taken place; easing muscle tension and causing the muscles around the jaw to relax.
– As an alternative therapy, acupuncture services can be hugely beneficial for cancer sufferers. Though it is not treatment that can directly affect the outcome of the cancer itself, medical acupuncture has been proven to provide some relief to those suffering with sickness as a side effect of chemotherapy, due to its ability to stimulate and release serotonin – promoting a feeling of wellbeing. In terms of conditions treated by acupuncture, cancer is unfortunately not yet one of them, but cancer patients often turn to acupuncture as an alternative therapy to combat the feelings of tension and nausea that they suffer during their cancer treatment. Psychologically, acupuncture receives widely positive reviews in the face of cancer and as such has become one of the more popular alternative therapies available.
– At the opposite end of the scale we come to labour – and how acupuncture can be used to induce labour. Of course this is not a decision to be taken lightly and medical acupuncture will only be performed in these circumstances in the case that the pregnancy needs to be ended for the benefit of both mother and baby, but in short the use of acupuncture can soften and dilate the cervix more quickly than the body can naturally work. With expectant mother’s becoming more and more averse to alternative and natural therapies, in a move away from the use of drugs and other more traditional medical options, acupuncture seems to be a popular and largely successful way to support a successful labour.
– And finally, we come to chronic pain, namely osteoarthritis which is something that many of us will one day suffer to carrying degrees. Here at Empire Physiotherapy our acupuncture services focus on sports injuries and treatment plans tailored around pain management, but acupuncture is also used medically as an alternative way to treat osteoarthritis – with patients commonly reporting significantly less pain and increased flexibility after a series of sessions involving acupuncture services.
Of course, acupuncture is much like any treatment available today, and as such it doesn’t work for everyone. It could be argued that some cases are better suited to acupuncture than others, and even that some areas of the body can be more open to acupuncture treatment than others. What we do know is that conditions treated by acupuncture are widely acknowledged all over the world, with the release of muscle tension and endorphins providing the body with the sense of wellbeing that provides a positive frame of mind in the face of any medical condition.