By Anga Gonzalez, L.Ac.
If your intention is to improve your health, acupuncture may be the very thing you need to “stick” to. Here is how:
To learn a new language, or take a class, maybe what you need to stay sharp. How ever you choose to exercise your brain, acupuncture can help. Numerous studies suggest that acupuncture can help improve memory, mental clarity, concentration and cognitive function.
One recently published study showed how acupuncture can be used to help patients with vascular dementia. Cerebral functional imaging before and after acupuncture treatments showed a significant increase in the cerebral glucose metabolism of the brain, which is associated with improved cognitive function. Other studies have looked at how acupuncture affects the performance of student taking an exam, Alzheimer’s disease and memory impairment induced by diabetes and cerebral ischemia. The results, thus far, have been positive.
Relieve Pain Naturally
More and more, people are looking for natural approaches to help relive painful conditions instead of relying on medications. Acupuncture has no side effects and can be helpful for all types of pain, regardless of what is causing the pain or where the pain is located. Some studies have shown the pain relief it provides can last for months.
Magnetic resonance imaging of the brain before and after acupuncture treatment for pain shows dramatic decreases in brain activity- up to 70%. This decrease in brain activity in certain areas of the brain is thought to be the reason for the reduction of pain caused by the acupuncture treatments.
In addition to reducing pain, acupuncture also hastens the healing process by increasing circulation and attracting white blood cells to an injured area.
Stress reduction is always on the top of the list and for a good reason. Stress is often the cause of illness and the deterioration of health. Numerous studies have demonstrated the substantial benefits of acupuncture in the treatment of stress, anxiety, and lowering blood pressure.
In addition to acupuncture, Oriental medicine offers many techniques that can be integrated into your life to keep stress in check. These tools include Tui Na, Qi Gong exercises, herbal medicine, dietary therapy, meditations, and acupressure that you can administer at home.
Needless to say, if the stress in your life is throwing you off balance, consider having a treatment.
Reach Target Weight and Stay There
Acupuncture and Oriental medicine can help you reach your goal weight and maintain it by promoting better digestion, smoothing emotions, reducing appetite, improving metabolism, and eliminating food cravings.
From a Western perspective, acupuncture and oriental medicine have been shown to have an effect on the function of the nervous system, endocrine system, digestive system, food cravings, and metabolism. All of which can help energize the body, maximize the absorption of nutrients, regulate elimination, control overeating, suppress the appetite, and reduce anxiety.
Acupuncture has turned a growing number of cigarette cravers into permanent ex-smokers. In fact, researchers say that acupuncture is a promising treatment for all types of addiction, from cigarettes to heroin.
In one study, a team from Yale University successfully used auricular (ear) acupuncture to treat cocaine addiction. Results showed that 54.8% of participants tested free of cocaine during the last week of treatment, compared to 23.5% and 9.1% in the two control groups. Those who completed acupuncture treatment also had longer periods of sustained abstinence compared to participants in the control groups.
The acupuncture treatments for smoking cessation focus on jitters, cravings, irritability, and restlessness; symptoms that people commonly complain about when they quit. It also aids in relaxation and detoxification.