By: Dr Ruzeen Doctor GP & Acupuncturist MBChB, MRCGP, DRCOG, BMAS Published Date: 23 November 2020
Western Medical Acupuncture has evolved from traditional Chinese medicine. It uses a scientific viewpoint of how we now know the body to work to explain what happens when needles are inserted. There has now been considerable scientific research carried out to help us understand how this ancient therapy works and its popularity is growing due to the positive effects it has found to have on patients. Acupuncture can essentially do more than simply reduce pain and many find it has a beneficial effect on their health and general wellbeing following treatment.
Current research supports the effects acupuncture can have on many of the body’s systems including: the nervous system, hormone production, allergic responses, and the respiratory, digestive, urinary and reproductive systems.
Acupuncture treatment involves fine needles being inserted through the skin and left in for approximately 20 minutes. Treatment may involve as few as 2-3 needles but sometimes up to 20. Usually treatment may be once a week and then at longer intervals as the conditions responds.
Typically a course of treatment lasts 5-8 sessions.
Five Benefits of Acupuncture are:
1. Managing Pain
Pain effects most of us at some point of our lives and can have a negative impact on our mental and physical self.
Acupuncture stimulates the nerves in skin, muscles and other tissues and can produce a variety of effects. It can help with many pain conditions but particularly assists with headaches/migraines and musculoskeletal pain (back, shoulder, neck, knees)
NICE (National Institute of Clinical Excellence) has recently recognised that acupuncture is also of benefit in patients with chronic pain and can reduce the use of morphine type drugs.
2. Reducing Stress/Anxiety
Life can be stressful and busy and stress can effect your body in many harmful ways when not dealt with. Acupuncture stimulates the nervous system and causes release of the bodies natural ‘happy hormones’ such as endorphins and serotonin. This in turn can improve mood and help anxiety. Along with good sleep hygiene it also benefits sleep conditions such as insomnia.
Currently there is much discussion and concern regarding ‘Long Covid’, a post-viral syndrome that effects some people who may have had very mild coronavirus symptoms but are left with lingering fatigue, anxiety, breathlessness and a range of other symptoms. Although this is a new phenomenon it is similar to other post-viral fatigue illnesses. Acupuncture may be a useful adjunct in managing some of the very unpleasant physical and emotions symptoms associated with this condition.
3. Helping Women - Pregnancy and Menopause
Pregnancy should be a joyous time, but for some women is challenging due to stresses and pain. Many of us are cautious about taking medication in pregnancy if it can be avoided. It is safe to use acupuncture in pregnancy and studies have found it’s benefits in treating morning sickness, pelvic pain and lower back pain.
If pregnancy isn’t enough to deal with…. in comes menopause! It's so important for women to care for their Heart Health especially at this time and consider risks which may be unique to them. Talk to a health professional if you are struggling or feel unsure how to manage your symptoms and risks. Some of the unpleasant symptoms of the menopause such as hot flushes and mood swings can be helped by acupuncture.
4. Positive impact on your wellness
A healthy mind is just as important as a healthy body and we often forget to consider this.
Take time for yourself and be mindful of what you do and how you do it.
Acupuncture is a safe way of aiding your relaxation journey and can help calm and clear the mind. Studies have found that patients spontaneously report feeling of improved well-being and deep sleep after treatment
5. Take charge of your health
Being responsible for your own health is paramount. Consider what you consume and how much you move! If you have concerns regarding your health, chat to your Doctor or a health professional about this. Be in charge of your own data and keep this collated, as it helps make the most out of each consultation.
GP and Acupuncturist Dr Ruzeen Doctor presents the Benefits of Acupuncture HearthealthNews.info - 20 November 2020