Acupuncture is an ancient therapeutic approach employed by practitioners of Traditional Chinese Medicine. It involves inserting needles on specific points of the skin to elicit a physiological or metabolic change. People often seek an acupuncturist when they need to deal with body pain, whether it is chronic (long-term) or acute (short-term). A highly skilled acupuncturist can treat various forms of pain, and repeated sessions have been found to prevent bone deterioration and help rebuild bone. But how exactly does this happen?
The link between acupuncture and bone health
This holistic technique works by remapping the pathways for pain signals in the brain. Once the body experiences different electrical frequencies applied to the needles, it starts to release endorphins, a type of hormone that relieves pain. Studies have also shown that acupuncture can modify the protein synthesis of the connective tissues surrounding the bones, making them less likely to deteriorate. (Related: Acupuncture significantly reduces pain following C-section: Research.)
Bone health has always been a prevalent global health topic, especially among the elderly. One of the more common bone problems is osteoporosis, which is often accompanied by chronic pain. Acupuncture is an effective treatment for osteoporosis-induced pain.
In a study published in the Journal of Clinical Acupuncture and Moxibustion, researchers from China divided 80 patients with osteoporosis randomly into two groups: The first group was given calcium carbonate with vitamin D orally, alongside injections of calcitonin, a hormone that encourages the bones to absorb calcium; the other group was given the same substances, but was supplemented with acupuncture sessions for eight weeks.
Once the eight-week study period is done, the researchers observed that 80 percent of the patients in the calcitonin plus supplements group reported significantly less bone pain. However, 92.5 percent of the participants in the acupuncture group saw an improvement in their symptoms. The researchers concluded that acupuncture can not only relieve pain, it can also be an effective treatment for bone problem symptoms.
Other health benefits of acupuncture
Acupuncture can do so much more than treat osteoporosis-related pain. Here are other health benefits of this holistic healing art:
- Relieves migraines. Migraines are crippling headaches that can easily render someone incapacitated until it’s dealt with. Nowadays, many people try acupuncture to help deal with chronic migraines. If you experience frequent migraines, consider scheduling an acupuncture session as soon as possible and experience its positive effects.
- Reduces arthritis symptoms. Acupuncture can provide a different option for reducing the painful and debilitating symptoms of arthritis. The endorphins released through acupuncture, which are often released only during stressful situations for an energy boost and to block pain receptors, can stop the crippling joint pain associated with arthritis that limits so many people’s physical activity.
- Reduces insomnia. Acupuncture can also increase the secretion of melatonin, a chemical that induces sleep. This can significantly reduce the frequency of insomnia in people that suffer from poor sleep.
- Prevents nausea and vomiting. There is a particular pressure point on the underside of the forearm that can reduce the sensation of nausea when stimulated.
- Reduces chronic pain. Chronic pain is one of the main reasons why people have acupuncture sessions in the first place. A study published in the journal JAMA Internal Medicine found that acupuncture, even minimal acupuncture, can reduce pain by up to 15 percent. However, the study focused on chronic back pain, which is considered a major health problem in a lot of Western countries.
Naturopathy.news has everything you need to know about acupuncture and other forms of healing art that can help reduce chronic pain.