Who knew a handful of tiny needle pricks could be so useful!?
Acupuncture is a thousands-year-old practice that involves poking tiny filiform needles to different strategic points in the face and body. Traditional Chinese Medicine practitioners believe that ailments are caused by the blockage of qi – or energy – in the body. Acupuncture works to unblock and stimulate the predictive flow of qi to minimize the impact of ailments.
Western medicine attributes results to the micro-injuries that acupuncture causes. These tiny penetration points put our body into repair mode by stimulating the production of naturally-occurring chemicals that heal injuries, ease pain and reduce inflammation.
Both Traditional Chinese Medicine and modern research consider acupuncture a productive treatment for anything from chronic pain to anxiety to fertility issues.
With the impressive list of benefits acupuncture can offer, almost anyone is a good candidate for this traditional treatment.
If you are comfortable around needles and want a low-risk-high-reward natural remedy, acupuncture may be for you!
Different types of acupuncture and their benefits
Acupuncture experts have spent centuries perfecting this craft and discovering all of the benefits it offers. Here are just a few popular types of acupuncture people leverage to improve daily life.
Looking for a natural glow-up? Acupuncture can act as a natural alternative to anti-aging cosmetic procedures!
What is face acupuncture?
Facial acupuncture targets signs of aging like loose skin, wrinkles and dull complexion. While facial acupuncture focuses on the face, it should be paired with full-body acupuncture to maximize energy flow and not congest the face.
A practitioner may insert anywhere from 40-70 tiny filiform needles in your face during your facial acupuncture appointment (don’t worry – it doesn’t hurt!). These tiny penetrations will jumpstart your body’s repair process, mimicking the same stimulation as harsher cosmetic practices like microneedling.
These tiny punctures stimulate the lymphatic system and boost collagen production. While microneedling makes hundreds of these micro-injuries, acupuncture only makes about 50!
What are the benefits of face acupuncture?
After regular treatments, patients can experience glowing skin, better collagen stimulation for tighter skin and a softer overall appearance.
This type of acupuncture is a double whammy because you get to enjoy both the health and cosmetic benefits. Facial acupuncture also relieves muscle tension, minimizes migraines, reduces stress and helps combat anxiety.
Because “feel good, look good,” right?
You may be surprised to hear that the results of ear acupuncture don’t really have anything to do with your ears! Several powerful acupuncture points around your ear cover a wide range of physical, mental and emotional health benefits. The stimulation of these points is known as auricular acupuncture, also known as ear acupuncture.
While auricular acupuncture research is limited, it has been practiced for centuries with many anecdotal positive side effects. The existing research suggests that auricular acupuncture relieves pain, addiction and mental health improvement.
What is ear acupuncture?
Ear acupuncture, or auricular acupuncture, is a method of acupuncture that focuses on points in your ear. The practice is known to improve mental health and overall health and wellness.
Auricular acupuncture uses different types of needles and localizes them to the ear, so patients have more mobility than they do with full-body acupuncture. This is a big plus for those who have trouble keeping still due to anxiety or chronic pain.
What are the benefits of ear acupuncture?
Many people undergo regular auricular acupuncture to help with the following issues:
- low back pain and other forms of chronic pain
- cancer pain and chemotherapy side effects
- weight loss
- substance use disorder
- digestive issues
Acupuncture for fertility
While fertility issues can be complex to treat, acupuncture for fertility is a common treatment that people of all genders consider when trying to conceive.
How is acupuncture used for infertility?
Often, acupuncture for fertility is combined with herbal medicine and works to stimulate blood flow to the endometrium to create a healthy and thick lining, balance hormones and relieve stress around conceiving.
Many patients also leverage acupuncture for fertility when using In-Vitro Fertilization (IVF) or egg donor transfer to maximize their chances of success.
Acupuncture for fertility can help increase sperm concentration, mobility and count so both partners can benefit from acupuncture for fertility.
Acupuncture for arthritis
In the United States, about 24% of adults deal with some form of arthritis. While some opt for painful injections or daily medicines, you can also benefit from regular acupuncture treatments for Osteoarthritis, Rheumatoid Arthritis and Fibromyalgia. Both Traditional Chinese Medicine and current scientific research support the benefits of acupuncture for those struggling with arthritic pain.
How is acupuncture used for arthritis?
From a scientific standpoint, acupuncture treatments can cause a domino effect when treating arthritis. The micro-injuries send signals to the brain that release endorphins and other neurotransmitters which can reduce the sensation of pain. The puncture can also stimulate the production of cortisol, your body’s natural anti-inflammatory fix.
Acupuncture for back pain
Back pain can floor people of all ages and fitness levels – nearly eight in 10 will experience some form of back pain in their lifetime! But even people with chronic back pain can find some relief through acupuncture.
How is acupuncture used for back pain?
Did you know that back pain is reported as the number one reason that patients seek out acupuncture? If back pain doesn’t improve from conventional treatments, or if you want to find a more natural solution, acupuncture can provide short-term relief.
Acupuncture for chronic back pain may be administered directly into your lower back, in your abdomen, the backs of your knees or even your hands. These acupuncture points are connected to stress and stiffness in the back. Application of the points can kickstart the pain-relieving chemicals your body naturally produces.
Acupuncture for anxiety
If you experience anxiety (and don’t have an intense fear of needles), acupuncture can reduce the symptoms of generalized anxiety disorder.
Some people who struggle with anxiety have trouble finding a treatment that works. Other people appreciate the relief from medicine, but not so much the medicinal side effects. For those who want to find a solution apart from or in tandem with traditional treatments, acupuncture for anxiety may be for you.
How is acupuncture used for anxiety?
Acupuncture points for anxiety may include your forehead, scalp, hands or other areas your practitioner determines.
The serious upside of acupuncture for anxiety is that it doesn’t cause annoying or severe side effects like alternative treatment options. Symptoms from acupuncture include minor bruising or soreness but it won’t make your anxiety worse. While results may vary, acupuncture for anxiety is a low-risk option for people who want to breathe a little easier.
Now that you are sold on the benefits of acupuncture, it’s important to choose the right practitioner! Acupuncturists spend years perfecting their craft and earning their license, so you know you are in good hands. You can shop around for expert licensed acupuncturists and specialists in your area on the ClassPass App!