Psoriasis is a chronic skin disease characterized by the buildup of cells and scaling on the skin’s surface. Inflammation and redness often surround these scales, which can develop into thick, red patches that can crack and bleed. The National Psoriasis Foundation (NPF) reports that over eight million Americans are afflicted with psoriasis. If left unchecked, this skin disease can also turn into a form of inflammatory arthritis known as psoriatic arthritis (PsA), which happens to at least 10 to 30 percent of people with psoriasis, according to the NPF. Nowadays, people have been looking toward natural treatments like acupuncture to relieve and treat the symptoms of psoriasis.
How can acupuncture help with psoriasis?
Psoriasis can be tricky to treat and could affect each individual differently, so people seek alternative treatments and therapies to help relieve their condition. Acupuncture is a holistic healing treatment wherein thin needles are inserted into the skin to stimulate certain points within the body. It is often used to treat a large variety of diseases, including psoriasis. In fact, some studies even vouch for the effectiveness of acupuncture on patients with psoriasis.
According to a study published in the Journal of Dermatological Treament, using acupuncture therapies to treat psoriasis is “simple, convenient, and effective” and comes with long-lasting therapeutic effects and very minimal side effects and toxicity compared to more traditional methods of treatment. Furthermore, a review of 13 different randomized trials published in The Journal of Alternative Medicine and Complementary Medicine suggested that acupuncture could be considered a natural short-term treatment for this skin disease and that more well-designed studies will be helpful in determining its true efficacy.
Acupuncture can help treat psoriasis in a variety of ways. For example, psoriasis often causes both stress and anxiety due to pain and itchiness. To combat this, patients seek acupuncture, which is widely known as an excellent stress reliever. Relieving stress is especially important because it is a common trigger for psoriasis flares.
Evidence from other studies further supports the use of acupuncture in dealing with anxiety symptoms. According to a study published in the journal Oxygen Transport to Tissue XXXVI found that this holistic treatment could help reduce anxiety in people with anxiety disorders. The researchers observed changes in the part of the brain called the prefrontal cortex, which suggests that acupuncture has a relaxation effect. Another study, published in the Journal of Midwifery and Reproductive Health found that acupuncture could reduce the anxiety of women afflicted with infertility. However, the researchers suggested that future studies should be conducted with a more appropriate design and methodology.
While these studies do not directly involve the effects of acupuncture on people with psoriasis, stress relief from acupuncture treatment can still be helpful in improving overall quality of life for patients suffering from psoriasis.
Other health benefits of acupuncture
Beyond its stress-relieving qualities, acupuncture offers plenty of other health benefits that make it one of the most widely used natural therapies around the world. Here are a few other things that may convince you to give acupuncture a try:
- Reduces chronic pain. A recent study published in the Archive of Internal Medicine found that acupuncture could reduce pain by up to 15 percent when used for different types of pain, but the study focused on chronic back pain caused by physical stress or poor sleeping habits. This study also suggested that using acupuncture could reduce the pain caused by psoriasis. (Related: Acupuncture significantly reduces pain following C-section: Research)
- Reduces the frequency of insomnia. Acupuncture increases the secretion of melatonin, which is a chemical that induces sleep. This, in turn, reduces the frequency of insomnia.
People who have psoriasis may find that natural treatments like acupuncture can be a great option for relieving their symptoms. Visit HealingArts.news for more studies and stories on other natural medicines for dealing with skin problems.