What Conditions Does Acupunture Treat? | Apotheque
Acupuncture is known to promote the natural self-healing process and improve the body’s functions through the stimulation of acupuncture points.
The most common technique for acupuncture treatment is done by inserting a series of fine needles into the skin. From there, heat, pressure, manual massage, cupping, herbal medicines, and even electrical stimulation may be used to enhance the effects.
But what does acupuncture do? In utilizing this method and promoting the body’s natural response to healing, there are many benefits of acupuncture. Today, modern research has demonstrated the effects that acupuncture has on the nervous system, endocrine system, digestive system, and cardiovascular system. Using Acupuncture therapy to stimulate the body’s systems can resolve pain, improve digestion function, aid in sleep, ease nausea, and promote an overall sense of wellness.
In order to better understand the history behind acupuncture and all it entails, let’s take a deeper look into what it is, what it does, and how you can benefit from this ancient method that honors the body and the soul.
What Exactly is Acupuncture?
In traditional Chinese Medicine, there is an ancient philosophy that describes the universe and the body in two distinct and opposing forces — the yin and the yang. It’s believed that health is the harmonious balance of this yin and yang, which is known as the energetic life-force of Qi.
Within the body, these patterns of energy flow (pronounced “chi”) move in a particular pattern when the body is in a healthy state. The energy flows along specific pathways through meridians and the forces of yin and yang are working together to create balance. It’s believed that when the Qi becomes disrupted or the flow of energy gets blocked, the body is then susceptible to disease, pain, or illness. Visually, think of it in terms of water and a dam. To have a flow, the water needs to be constantly moving. When the dam blocks the water, the flow is restricted.
Acupuncture helps to stimulate specific locations on the skin to correct these imbalances of flow through a series of techniques and procedures. In doing so, acupuncture therapy is able to release the Qi that is blocked in the body and help stimulate regular energy function.
The most common acupuncture technique utilizes thin needles to penetrate the skin. By inserting these needles into the 350 different acupuncture points (or energy flows) the energy can be brought back into balance.
From a scientific point of view, professionals state that these acupuncture points are the places where stimulation occurs in connective tissues, muscles, and nerves. When this stimulation happens, blood flow increases and triggers the body’s own natural ability to fight pain.
Utilizing acupuncture treatment to treat illnesses was not a common practice in America until 1972 when President Nixon visited China and took interest in the techniques. Since then, interest in the United States and Europe has gained popularity and acupuncture has become more widely known in Western medicine.
In 1997, the U.S. National Institutes of Health (NIH) documented and shared acupuncture’s safety for treating a wide range of conditions, and it is now covered by a variety of insurance policies.
How Does Acupuncture Work?
According to the traditional Chinese medical theory, these acupuncture points are located on meridians (where the vital life energy flows). To start treatment, an acupuncturist will first assess the patient and their condition — perhaps offering additional ideas on self-care to complement the acupuncture therapy.
The patient will lie down on their front, side, or back (depending on where the needles will be inserted). The patient may feel a brief tingling sensation or a slight sting after the needle is inserted. Acupuncture is a somewhat painless experience — though the patient may have a slight ache that will quickly diminish. The needles will stay in their place for anywhere between 5 and 30 minutes.
After the first treatment is over, the number of treatments that follow will depend on each patient’s individual needs. Often, patients will experience relief after just one session. For more complex conditions, patients might require two treatments per week for several months.
Benefits of Acupuncture
Overall, acupuncture is used to restore the balance of energy and help you live a healthier and happier life.
Common Benefits include:
Reduced Back Pain
Reduced Neck Tension
Relieve Joint Pain in the Hands and Arms
Reduced Eye Strain
Improved Immune System
Enhanced Mental Clarity and Increased Energy
Relief from Digestive Conditions
In addition to these common benefits, there are a plethora of conditions that acupuncture has proven to help with.
What Conditions Can Acupuncture Help?
According to UC San Diego’s Center for integrative medicine, hundreds of clinical studies have shown acupuncture’s ability to successfully treat a wide variety of conditions. These include musculoskeletal problems (like back pain and neck pain), nausea, migraine headaches, insomnia, infertility, anxiety, and depression.
If you find yourself wondering what conditions does acupuncture treat, look no further. Here’s a comprehensive list.
Allergic rhinitis (including hay fever)
Depression (including depressive neurosis and depression following stroke)
Dysentery, acute bacillary
Epigastralgia, acute (in peptic ulcer, acute and chronic gastritis, and gastrospasm)
Facial pain (including craniomandibular disorders)
Induction of labor
Low back pain
Malposition of fetus, correction
Nausea and vomiting
Pain in dentistry (including dental pain and temporomandibular dysfunction)
Periarthritis of shoulder
The following diseases, symptoms or conditions have limited but probable evidence to support the therapeutic use of acupuncture:
Abdominal pain (in acute gastroenteritis or due to gastrointestinal spasm)
Alcohol dependence and detoxification
Cholecystitis, chronic, with acute exacerbation
Competition stress syndrome
Craniocerebral injury, closed
Diabetes mellitus, non-insulin-dependent
Epidemic hemorrhagic fever
Epistaxis, simple (without generalized or local disease)
Eye pain due to subconjunctival injection
Female urethral syndrome
Fibromyalgia and fasciitis
Hepatitis B virus carrier status
Herpes zoster (human alpha herpesvirus 3)
Male sexual dysfunction, non-organic
Opium, cocaine and heroin dependence
Pain due to endoscopic examination
Pain in thromboangiitis obliterans
Polycystic ovary syndrome (Stein-Leventhal syndrome)
Post-extubation in children
Radicular and pseudoradicular pain syndrome
Raynaud syndrome, primary
Recurrent lower urinary tract infection
Reflex sympathetic dystrophy
Retention of urine, traumatic
Sialism, drug-induced (excessive salivation)
Sore throat (including tonsillitis)
Spine pain, acute
Temporomandibular joint dysfunction
Ulcerative colitis, chronic
Whooping cough (pertussis)
Potential Acupuncture Risks
As with all therapies, it’s good to note that in addition to the wide assortment of benefits of acupuncture, there are possible risks as well.
Possible risks include:
Potential bleeding, bruising, and soreness at the insertion sites.
Infections if the clinic uses unsterile needles
Excessive bleeding if a patient has a bleeding disorder or takes blood thinners.
The needle can break and create internal organ damage, in very rare cases
A collapsed lung if a needle is inserted deeply into the chest or upper back, in very rare cases
Although it’s always good to note the risks, The United States Food and Drug Administration regulate acupuncture needles as medical devices. They are manufactured and labeled to meet various standards and sterile, nontoxic needles must be used by a licensed practitioner. And in the case of serious illnesses, it’s suggested to use acupuncture in addition to other treatments.
Ready to Try It?
If you are looking to receive the benefits of acupuncture, we encourage you to visit a wellness spa with practitioners who are well-versed in the techniques and experience of acupuncture.
If you’re feeling disjointed or out of alignment, acupuncture might be a wonderful way to promote healing and reduce pain. We believe that our bodies, much like our cars, are the vehicles that carry us throughout the day. Every once in a while, they need a tune-up to help them feel refreshed and invigorated.
Acupuncture does just that.
At Apotheque Lifestyle Spa, we use fine, sterile, disposable needles that are painlessly inserted just beneath the skin. These can quickly reduce pain and inflammation as well as promote healing from injury or disease. And if you’re typically scared of needles — no need to fear. These hair-thin acupuncture needles (in fact, twenty or more) could actually fit into a traditional hypodermic needle.
When embracing the holistic nature of acupuncture medicine, your body has the potential for healing and bringing itself back to a balanced state, naturally. If you’re suffering from chronic pain, digestive issues, allergies, sleep difficulties, stress, or you are just looking to maintain wellness, acupuncture can help.
Acupuncture is often performed in combination with botanicals or herbs, change of diet, and cupping — the Asian technique that increases blood flow using heated cups to create suction and promote blood flow. It can also be used alongside massage therapy, chiropractic services, qigong, tai chi, and more.
All of our spa treatments are therapeutic and serve to help you take the time to take care of yourself. As soon as you step through our door, we welcome you to discover Ancient Wisdom and Old World Remedies. In addition to acupuncture, we have a large list of 65 Spa Treatments, 24 Essential Oils, and 27 Fragrance Oils.
Acupuncture reasons for use vary, and at Apotheque, we work together with our clients to plan an experience that will work best for each individual. Whatever your reason for turning to acupuncture, from chronic illness to a simple tune-up, we’re here to ensure you have the best experience possible.
If you’re interested in learning more, visit our website or come to see us in Oceanside today.
We look forward to helping you feel your best from the inside out.