Yes, Acupuncture Can Treat That

What can acupuncture treat?

Along with encouraging the body’s natural ability to function optimally, acupuncture can also treat a wide variety of ailments that menace our society. To start, acupuncture works very effectively at improving immune function for individuals who find that they are constantly getting sick. 



The average body has a very complex system that is designed to protect itself against invading pathogens, like viruses. However, a compromised immune system can become inefficient, which leads to fatigue and frequent illness. Other people have a hypersensitive reaction to everyday substances, which leads to allergies or food sensitivities. Acupuncture may also help tamp down acute flare-up symptoms in chronic conditions like asthma.


Immune dysfunction is often caused by impaired sleep, poor digestion, prolonged stress, and inactivity. 


Luckily, acupuncture can address all of these things as well. Part of the holistic nature of TCM-based practices means that all aspects of each individual’s situation are considered in the course of treatment and incorporated into a plan to reroute the chain of events that lead to the current imbalance. For example, someone suffering from indigestion will receive a treatment that strengthens their ability to transform the nutrients in food into a usable form for the body along with ways to improve certain dietary habits and the underlying issues that are causing this person to resort to poor food choices (such as feeling too tired to cook and resorting to fast food or binge-eating after a stressful day at work). 



For this reason, people find that acupuncture is a strong tool to use in conjunction with weight-loss regimens. Acupuncture is also commonly utilized by individuals working toward overcoming addiction to substances.


In addition to assisting with lifestyle changes, acupuncture can also treat an array of diagnosable disorders. One of the most common uses of acupuncture therapy is for alleviating pain, such as headaches and migraines, chronic back pain, and neuropathic (nerve) pain. 


There’s also mounting evidence that acupuncture has an ergogenic (performance-enhancing) effect on athletic performance since studies show acupuncture can reduce lactic acid and lower max heart rate, partly by improving oxygen utilization, in high-intensity workouts. Aside from boosting performance, acupuncture might also be able to help athletes recover more quickly by improving energy metabolism in the body, studies also say. 


Eastern and Western Medicine Working Together 

In 2017, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services declared a nationwide public health emergency regarding the opioid crisis. 


It goes without saying that an alternative to pharmaceutical pain-relieving methods is more important than ever. Acupuncture is a safe and effective way to relieve pain by triggering the release of natural pain-relieving hormones. Unlike opioids and other pain-relieving medications, TCM is designed to not only treat symptoms but also target the root cause of pain or disease and address the underlying issue as well.


Along with acting as an adjunct or alternative to drug therapy, acupuncture can also treat the side effects associated with many medications. 


Common side effects to many popular pharmaceutical medications include nausea, fatigue, weight gain, dizziness, headaches, and the list goes on. Allowing someone to adhere to the necessary treatment prescribed by their doctor while living free of side effects is one of the beautiful ways that eastern and western medicine can work in conjunction for the safety and well-being of the patient. 


Many patients undergoing treatment for cancer in particular have found acupuncture to be effective at curbing or reducing some of the most gruesome side effects associated with such intense therapies. 



Other conditions known to benefit from acupuncture therapy are numerous digestive disorders like nausea, bloating, gastric reflux (GERD), irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), constipation, and abdominal pain; urinary disorders in both men and women; and female/reproductive issues such as premenstrual syndrome (PMS), polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS), and infertility; and many more. Clearly, acupuncture can be used in a diverse range of situations to bring the body back to harmony and provide a sense of balance and ease.


It is not uncommon to see many of the disorders listed above occur in combination, which makes acupuncture an excellent approach to treat and balance the entire system. 


Acupuncture Often Used with TCM Herbal Regimens  

A licensed acupuncturist (L Ac.) must attend three to four years full-time at an accredited graduate program in Oriental Medicine in order to learn the art of acupuncture and obtain the skills necessary for treating patients. 


The minimum requirement for practitioners in most states is a master’s degree; however, doctoral programs are offered for advanced training in a focus of choice. 


A future practitioner must also pass up to four board exams, depending on the state he or she intends to practice in. All practitioners receive an education in both conventional biomedicine as well as Chinese Medicine and are therefore able to routinely and safely treat patients with a variety of diseases and disorders.


Most programs also incorporate an herbal component, which allows practitioners to prescribe a customized herbal formula that is designed to meet each client’s individual needs. The goal is holistically bringing balance to the entire body.

Author: Katie Shea