Acupuncture has been practiced in China for thousands of years to treat a wide range of different conditions and pains.
It wasn’t until the second half of the twentieth century that it became a popular alternative form of medicine in Europe. But practitioners of acupuncture have since established themselves all over the continent.
Its use as a treatment for certain conditions has been validated by the World Health Organisation, the National Health Service in the UK, and a range of other scientific and medical organisations. So what conditions can acupuncture be used to treat?
Back pain is perhaps the most complaint that people consult acupuncturists about as it can be difficult to alleviate with Western medicines and treatments, whereas acupuncture has consistently good results when it comes to treating the ailment.
Indigestion and Heartburn
A Brazilian study found that acupuncture relieved indigestion and heartburn in pregnant women far more effectively than recommended dietary changes, with 75% of women seeing an improvement, compared to a mere 44% in the dietary changes group.
Improves Effect of Other Drugs
Acupuncture has been shown to augment the effect of Prozac in patients, meaning that smaller amounts of Prozac can be used to treat anxiety effectively, in conjunction with acupuncture. This is significant as less Prozac means less of the negative side effects such as reduced libido, weight gain and nausea.
Studies have consistently shown that acupuncture is a good method of preventing headaches and migraines, as well as being an effective treatment for headaches.
Reduces Side Effects of Cancer Treatments
Cancer treatments, such as chemotherapy and radiotherapy, have a range of side effects, from dry mouth to hot flashes caused by tamoxifen, a drug usually taken after breast cancer surgery. Both of these side effects have been reduced or made more tolerable with acupuncture.
Studies have shown that although saliva levels remained the same, patients wearing acupressure bands found the experience of dry mouth less uncomfortable. Likewise, acupuncture has been found to give relief from hot flashes caused by tamoxifen.
People turn to acupuncture to treat the above conditions and pains not only because it is an effective form of treatment, but also because the possible side effects of acupuncture are few and mild.
Acupuncture may be an effective treatment for people who don’t respond well to pain medication or indeed who do not wish to take pain medication. Plus, acupuncture can be used in conjunction with other forms of treatments to alleviate side effects or enhance the effectiveness of other treatments.
This article was written by health blogger Sheila Hartnett who has turned to Fitzwilliam Health Clinic for both chronic back pain and persistent headaches.