Science Proves Acupuncture Eases Pain, Indigestion and More

The chances are your doctor has never prescribed you a round of acupuncture, but you may be missing out on some major benefits to your wellbeing. Complementary wellness often gets short-changed in standard healthcare because medical health professionals are simply unaware of how effective alternatives treatments are. However, a new study, published in the Archives of Internal Medicine, looks set to change that.

For the study, the research looked at the data from lots of different research projects that examined the effectiveness of acupuncture in nearly 18,000 people overall. The results of the study revealed that acupuncture was a good treatment for chronic pain, and led the researchers to advise doctors to start recommending acupuncture as treatment for arthritis and other chronic ailments. Let’s take a look at the scientifically-studied ways in which acupuncture therapy can alleviate what’s bothering you:

1. Soothe your aching back: Acupuncturists note that chronic back pain is the number one reason why people visit their clinics, and with good reason; it works! In May, a study published in the Archives of Internal Medicine even showed that simulated acupuncture (in which pressure is placed on certain acupuncture points on your body but no needles are actually used) helped to improve people’s symptoms by as much as 15% more than people who were taking medications and undergoing standard chiropractic care. If you’re not a fan of needles, but are worried that you’ll be missing out on the full benefits of acupuncture by opting for the simulated variety, fear not; the impact that simulated acupuncture had on patient wellness was equal to the improvements seen in people who were receiving true acupuncture.

2. Give your medications a helping hand: Chinese researchers, who published their findings in the August issue of the Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine, combined a lower-dose of fluoxetine (Prozac) with acupuncture therapy and compared it to how a full-dose medication aids in treating depression. The study found that both treatments were equally effective in reducing anxiety in patients being treated for depression and, as adding acupuncture enabled researchers to cut the dosage, their were also fewer side effects from the drugs, including less nausea, weight gain, and decreased sex drive.

3. Alleviates your heart burn and indigestion: A study from Brazilian researchers, published this June, revealed that acupuncture therapy alleviated heartburn and indigestion in pregnant women. For the study, pregnant women were divided into two groups. The first group was given a combination of acupuncture and medications, while the other group was counselled on dietary changes and given medications if needed. While 75% of the women in the acupuncture group saw heartburn intensity and antacid use decline, only 44% of women in the standard-treatment group saw those same effects.

4. Counteracts the impact of radiation: When you have cancer, undergoing radiation treatment puts you at risk of a variety of side effects, depending on the part of your body that’s being treated. Side effects include nausea and dry mouth, but acupuncture therapy has been found to alleviate your perception of these side effects, if not the side effects themselves. This is according to a review of studies published in CA, a journal of the American Cancer Society, which found that patients who wore acupressure bands during treatment said they felt less nausea, although they still had the same occurrence of vomiting as they did before wearing the band. The same research revealed that people reported having less of a problem with dry mouth, even though measures of their saliva showed that levels remained the same.

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