BENEFITS OF ACUPUNCTURE
Studies that have been carried out to explain what happens in the body when an acupuncture treatment is performed has revealed the following:
Acupuncture promotes blood flow:
Every cell in the body needs an adequate blood supply for it to function properly. Blood carries oxygen, nutrients, immune substances, hormones, analgesics and anti-inflammatories. When pain is present, an inflammatory reaction occurs in the area, reducing the blood supply in the area. An adequate blood supply is vital for recovery and healing to take place.
Acupuncture stimulates the body to release natural painkillers:
Inserting an acupuncture needle into an acupuncture point sends a signal through the nervous system to the brain where chemicals such as endorphins, norepinephrine and enkephalin are released. Acupuncture has been shown to reduce both the intensity and perception of chronic pain. In fact, a 2016 study, published in the “American Journal of Emergency Medicine” found that acupuncture can be a more effective method of pain relief than morphine.
The study compared the two methods and found that the acupuncture group experienced a 92% reduction in pain compared to a 78% reduction in pain for those treated with morphine.
An analysis of data from studies on pain concluded that the beneficial effects of acupuncture continued for a year after the end of treatment.
Acupuncture relaxes shortened muscles:
Which in turn releases pressure on joint structures and and nerves and promotes blood flow.
Acupuncture helps improve fertility:
Acupuncture improves vascular response in the pelvic area, thereby improving endometrial thickness and enhancing the receptivity of the uterus. Efficient blood flow is associated with higher quality eggs.
A study performed in 2008, demonstrated that acupuncture improves the thickness of the endometrial lining and increases the chances of embryo implantation.
Further studies carried out in 2010, showed that acupuncture affects hormone levels by promoting the release of beta-endorphins in the brain, which in turn stimulates the natural release of all the other necessary hormones in the menstrual cycle. Therefore, acupuncture helps to regulate the menstrual cycle and stabilise the endocrine system.
A recent study in 2021, which looked at high stress levels in patients undergoing fertility treatment, concluded that acupuncture was extremely beneficial in reducing stress in this group. The worlds largest professional medical reproductive organisation “The American Society for Reproductive Medicine” recommends that fertility patients should try acupuncture to manage stress and other fertility issues.
Acupuncture helps reduce stress:
Stress activates the sympathetic nervous system, while acupuncture has been shown to activate the opposing parasympathetic nervous system, thereby initiating the relaxation response. Research has found that acupuncture lowers stress hormone levels and improves mood, increasing feelings of happiness. Acupuncture can help benefit mood by regulating neurotransmitters and hormones such as serotonin and dopamine, responsible for happiness, thus altering the brains mood chemistry, combating negative thoughts and promoting relaxation in the body.
Acupuncture regulates the immune system:
Acupuncture stimulates the body’s immune response and strengthens your body to improve your resistance to infection. Studies have shown the effectiveness of acupuncture in improving the body’s immune function by increasing white blood cell and T-cell numbers, (T-cells are responsible for destroying harmful bacteria and viruses in the body),with results lasting up to a month after treatment.