There are many acupuncture benefits covering a broad range of common ailments and medical conditions. Please see the list below. There are also very general benefits of receiving an acupuncture treatment that many people experience as secondary benefits of a treatment.
We humans can lead very busy and stressful lives, often without even realising it. This stress can have a very negative and sometimes devastating effect on our physical bodies and mind, usually in more ways than we know or even care to think about. One of the many acupuncture benefits that people experience is the reduction of stress. In fact, feeling stressed is a very common reason for many people seeking acupuncture in the first place. Actually, stress is almost the only reason for seeking acupuncture, because nearly all illness, whether physical, mental or emotional is a form of stress in one way or another. Even an injury, is a result of too much stress being placed on a certain area of the body, smoking puts stress on our lungs, and too much fatty food puts stress on our hearts.
Not everyone will admit or even realise that they have stress in their lives though. This is generally because they have become so used to it being the ‘norm’ that they are almost oblivious to it. It often tends to be, only when that stress has been reduced, or taken away completely, that they notice just how stressed they actually were in the first place. Another of the many acupuncture benefits is its ability to help to relieve this stress.
Insomnia is a very common complaint for many people. This tends to generally be associated with people approaching their middle years and beyond. A lack of sleep really does affect us in a very significant way. Poor quality sleep can often make us feel grumpy and moody. If it continues over a period of time it can have almost devastating effects both physically and emotionally. When we have a good, restful night’s sleep, we feel energised and generally much happier.
Another one of acupuncture’s benefits is that it can often help those suffering from insomnia to experience a more restful sleeping pattern. The interesting thing is, most people who suffer from some form of insomnia go to an acupuncturist for something else other than insomnia. When asked about their sleeping pattern, they often don’t mention that sleep is a problem, presumably because they don’t realise that it is. Upon follow-up appointments though, after being treated for the condition they initially went for, they usually recognise that their sleeping pattern has improved and that they feel much better as a result.
Another common acupuncture benefit is an increase in energy. This is often a welcome experience for many people, especially those who are deficient in some way. Many people experience more energy not only hours after the acupuncture treatment, but days and even weeks too. A good acupuncturist will be able to recognise if a person is deficient or not with a traditional Chinese medical diagnosis. Specific acupuncture points will be selected to rectify the deficiency.
Acupuncture benefits many people by clearing blockages and creating balance within the system. Acupuncture tackles stagnant Qi which is often directly responsible for feeling mentally cluttered and physically lethargic. As a result, many people not only experience increased energy levels, but improved mental alertness too. This improved mental clarity combined with an increase in energy, helps you to make important decisions quickly with confidence, as well as feeling more motivated and positive about those jobs that are long over-due.
Digestion is very important in Chinese medicine and acupuncture, and diet is considered fundamental to good health as the diet we eat affects the digestive system to a greater or lesser degree and the whole body. In turn, the strength of a person’s digestive system is also indicative of the individual’s inherent constitution and overall health. This is because the organs of the digestive system have in fact been fundamental in the body’s development over-time, as it is the entire digestive system that has digested and absorbed the nutrients from the food eaten to help the body grow and develop. Therefore, a person’s digestive health says a lot about their overall state of health. Acupuncturists and Chinese doctors will therefore often ask many questions about diet and bowel movements. Another one of the many acupuncture benefits is better digestion.
Further acupuncture benefits include balancing the emotions and as a result can significantly influence your quality of life. The emotions are very important in Chinese medicine and are recognised as causing diseases of the body and mind through being imbalanced. Chinese medicine recognises the internal organs as being connected to the emotions with each internal organ being related to a specific emotion. An imbalance in an organ can bring on an emotion and an imbalance in an emotion can affect the corresponding internal organ. This interrupts the natural flow of energy (qi) which in turn can have a negative effect to the physical body over a period of time.
A very good example of this is PMT in women and drinking alcohol in men. Chinese medicine recognises the Liver as being associated with the emotion of anger, and irritability as a milder level of anger. During a woman’s menstrual cycle, the Liver is often overworked due to the potential increase in blood-flow. Because of this, the liver can become ‘stuck’ because its nature is actually to be the opposite, so therefore it is more prone to becoming ‘stuck’. E.g. The liver in Chinese medicine, when in harmony, is said to ‘flow and spread’. This is the nature of the Liver’s energy due to its blood moving qualities. There is even a Chinese herbal formula for the Liver called the ‘free and easy wanderer’. If the liver’s energy becomes congested and stuck, emotional outbursts can often be the result, and in extreme cases anger.
Another example of this is when a person drinks alcohol, but especially a man because of his nature of being more Yang. The liver becomes intoxicated and overburdened by the alcohol that has been consumed. It therefore often becomes ‘stuck’ and anger can be the result because just like during PMT, the liver is related to the emotion of anger when it becomes congested or ‘stuck’.
Another of the many acupuncture benefits is that it can help to rectify this as well as many other similar emotional imbalances and mood swings also.
Acupuncture Benefits for Medical Treatments
What follows is a list of conditions that have been shown to respond well to acupuncture. The list is not meant to be all inclusive, but it does offer a view of the broadness of conditions that have been treated successfully with acupuncture. A more detailed list of acupuncture benefits for medical conditions as recognised by the World Health Organisation, can be viewed at the World Health Organisation Website.
Upper Respiratory Tract
- Acute sinusitis
- Acute rhinitis
- Common Cold and Flu
- Acute tonsillitis
- Acute bronchitis
- Bronchial asthma (Most effective in children and uncomplicated conditions.)
- Chronic cough / Acute Cough / Difficult breathing
- Acute conjunctivitis
- Central Retinitis Myopia (in children)
- Cataracts (without complications)
- Spasms of oesophagus
- Acute and Chronic Gastritis
- Gastric Hyperacidity
- Chronic Duodenal Ulcer (pain relief)
- Acute Duodenal Ulcer (without complications)
- Acute and Chronic Colitis
- Acute Bacillary Dysentery
- Chronic Diarrhoea
- Paralytic Ileus
Neurological and Musculo-skeletal Disorders
- Headache and Migraine
- Trigeminal Neuralgias
- Facial Palsy (early stage, i.e., within 3-6 months)
- Paresis Following a Stroke
- Peripheral Neuropathies
- Sequel of Poliomyelitis (early stage, i.e., within 6 months)
- Meniere’s Disease
- Neurogenic Bladder Dysfunction
- Nocturnal Enuresis (bedwetting)
- Intercostal Neuralgia
- Cervicobrachial Syndrome
- Frozen Shoulder
- Tennis Elbow
- Low Back Pain
- Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
- Back and Knee Pain
- Chronic Fatigue
- Sports Injuries and Pains
Reproductive & Gynaecological Conditions
- Premenstrual Syndrome
- Dysmenorrhea (menstrual cramps)
- Spotting and Excessive Bleeding
- Amenorrhea (absence of Menstrual Period)
Mental Emotional Problems
Acupuncture Benefits – Summary
Acupuncture benefits us by tonifying deficiencies, clearing blockages and creating balance within the system. It often has the effect of reducing stress, encouraging better sleeping patterns, energising the system, clearing the mind, aiding digestion and balancing the emotions. Of course none of these benefits can be guaranteed by anybody. What can be guaranteed is that it is true to say that many people do experience many or most of these experiences at some point with regular acupuncture treatments over a period of time.
Acupuncture has been used for hundreds if not thousands of years in China, and has been used for treating many conditions in the West since the 60s. People are not foolish. If things don’t work, the word soon gets around and that ‘thing’ whatever it may be fails to exist any longer. Acupuncture has stood the test of time which proves that there certainly are benefits. They may not work for everyone, but they certainly do work for many.