7 Surprising Benefits Of Traditional Acupuncture according to the British Acupuncture Council
Based on ancient principles which go back nearly three thousand years, acupuncture involves painlessly placing extremely fine, sterile needles at specific points on the body to trigger a healing response. Working on the basis of each body having its own energy flow known as qi 氣, Chinese medicine looks at pain and illness as signs that the body is out of balance. The overall aim of an acupuncture treatment is to restore the body’s equilibrium but it also boasts numerous other
1 IT CAN GIVE YOU MORE ENERGY
Immediately following traditional acupuncture treatment, the most common after effect is increased energy flow. “I see patients in my clinic all year around who report low energy levels,” explains Deb Connor, a traditional acupuncturist and qualified member of the British Acupuncture Council. “However this is often greater after winter. Seasonal acupuncture treatment can be just the boost needed to get back in tune.” Many people notice the extra energy lasting days and sometimes weeks after treatment so if you feel a little drained this season, acupuncture may be just what you need.
2 IT CAN RELEASE STRESS
Stress is one of the most common complaints from traditional acupuncture patients. By acting on areas of the brain known to reduce sensitivity to pain and stress, as well as deactivating the 'analytical' area – which is responsible for anxiety and worry – traditional acupuncture enhances a body’s state of relaxation.
3 IT PROMOTES A BETTER NIGHT'S SLEEP
Clinical research has found traditional acupuncture is an incredibly effective treatment for insomnia. And even those who don’t initially present sleep problems comment on the treatment giving them a much better night’s sleep. “Traditional acupuncture stimulates the nervous system to release endorphins which allow the body to relax,” describes Catherine Ann Quinn of the British Acupuncture Council. “During treatment most people also feel a deep sense of calm. Traditional acupuncture addresses the underlying cause and can be extremely helpful in restoring regular sleeping patterns resulting in a heightened sense of physical and emotional wellbeing.”
4 YOU WILL ACHE LESS
Constant niggles and pains, especially in the back, are a common complaint – but this doesn’t mean they should be ignored. Traditional acupuncture releases pain by working from the root of the problem. By stimulating nerves located in muscles and other tissues, acupuncture leads to the release of endorphins that change the processing of pain sensations in the brain and spinal cord. Whether it’s constant aching from sitting at your desk all day, or a sharp shooting pain when you bend over, traditional acupuncture practitioners will tailor your sessions to your personal needs.
5 IT CAN CLEAR YOUR SKIN
Traditional acupuncture helps to reduce inflammation, a common side of effect of acne or hormonal skin issues. It also helps to enhance natural killer cells, improve blood circulation and increase immune cells, to promote the appearance of healthy and youthful skin. ’Your acupuncturist will do a full diagnostic consultation, asking questions about all aspects of your health and wellbeing including your sleep, your digestion and your diet,” explains Deb Connor. “Your acupuncturist will also look at your tongue and feel your pulses on both wrists. This comprehensive diagnostic consultation allows an individual treatment plan to be made. "In traditional Chinese medicine skin problems such as spots and heat rashes often relate to the body holding too much heat. Traditional acupuncture together with diet and lifestyle advice can help release and reduce this heat, helping to alleviate the skin problem.”
6 IT CAN INCREASE PRODUCTIVITY
Many people experience mental clarity after a session of traditional acupuncture, based on a combination of energy and endorphin release. Traditional acupuncture can help towards increased motivation, which could lead to achieving life goals that you may have otherwise been too hectic to tackle.
7 IT CAN MAKE YOU MORE OPEN MINDED
Taking a different approach to your problems, one that you may not have considered before, will help you to feel more open minded about tackling problems outside of your personal life, such as work. Traditional acupuncture opens a world of understanding your body as an energy source and knowing that it is always in balance, broadening your understanding of both yourself and your surroundings.
(Source: Natural Health Magazine)
British Acupuncture Council Research Fact Sheets
The benefits of acupuncture are also supported by scientific research, which has documented a wide range of conditions. The British Acupuncture Council has been putting together fact sheets that outline the main evidence produced by the ongoing research, and is constantly updating and adding the newest findings.
The conditions are listed alphabetically and can be found HERE.
The Dutch Acupuncture Association Research Data
The Dutch Acupuncture Association - De Nederlandse Vereniging voor Acupunctuur (NVA) has also made available extensive records of scientific data regarding the effectiveness of acupuncture, as well as recommendations and guidelines for both patients and practitioners.
The scientific studies, articles and data bases can be found on the NVA website (in Dutch).