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Kuan-Chung Chou, LAc
Acupuncture Not Just For Pain
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Acupuncture Not Just For Pain

Acupuncture Not Just For Pain

Today acupuncture is known by many for its effectiveness in relieving pain. But acupuncture is not only just useful for treating pain. The tiny needles and Chinese medicine are used to treat hundreds of different diseases.

More than 300 studies of acupuncture were published in 2005 alone. They were published by researchers from around the world, in many scientific and medical journals, with excellent quality content. Acupuncture is also recognized by the NIH and WHO to be effective in the treatment of many medical problems.

Modern scientific research has shown that acupuncture stimulates the nervous system to release some chemicals in the muscles, spinal cord and brain. These chemicals can reduce inflammation and pain. Acupuncture can increase circulation in the problem area and stimulate tissue regeneration.

Research has shown acupuncture can increase levels of endomorphin-1, beta endorphin, encephalin, and serotonin levels in both plasma and brain tissue, and this may explain some of the effects of acupuncture.

The American Journal of Chinese Medicine published a study showing that acupuncture can help with weight loss and reduce LDL cholesterol (“bad” cholesterol) levels.

Another research showed that acupuncture and Chinese herbs can help menopausal symptoms. They found 97% of women treated with acupuncture were significantly improved by acupuncture, and for some patients it is more effective and safer than any medication.

Acupuncture also can improve IVF success rates. A 2002 German study that received a lot of attention found significantly higher conception rates (42.5% vs. 26.3%) when acupuncture was used with IVF. Another study published in 2005 demonstrated that sperm motility and quality improved after the men received treatment with acupuncture.

The benefits of traditional Chinese medicine for infertility include improvement in the uterine lining, increase uterus blood flow, regulation of hormones, stress reduction, improved ovary function, increased conception with or without ART, increased live birth rates, improved semen quality and quantity and improved feelings of well being.

There are many studies reporting acupuncture to have some effectiveness in mild to moderate depression and anxiety. In 1998, the NIHs Office of Alternative Medicine funded a study at the University of Arizona. Thirty-four seriously depressed women were divided into three groups.

The first group received depression-specific acupuncture, the second group got non-specific treatment, and the third group was put on a wait list. Following the treatment, the depression-specific groups experienced a 43 percent reduction in their symptoms compared with a 22 percent reduction for the non-specific treatment group.

Traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) is based on a concept of vital energy, or Qi, that is believed to flow throughout the body. It is proposed to regulate a persons spiritual, emotional, mental, and physical balance. Among the components of TCM are acupuncture, herbal, and nutritional therapy, restorative physical exercises, meditation, and remedial massage, and acupressure.

Conventional medication provides hope to many patients, but it may also carry some side effects. Traditional Chinese medicine can help patients improve their overall health and reduce the side effects of medicine. If you are undergoing medical therapy or surgery, you may want to talk to your physician about possible side effects. If you are looking for non-pharmacological therapies, a combination of acupuncture and herbs may be of interest to you.

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