The World Health Organization (WHO) released a list in 2003 of recognized conditions treated by acupuncture
The World Health Organization released a list in 2003 of recognized conditions treated by acupuncture. In 1979, acupuncture began to gain traction with the WHO as a valid treatment form. Of course, Eastern societies had been aware of that for thousands of years, but until that point, Western acupuncturists were largely met with skepticism by the general public.
In 2003, based on research culled in the years since it first began studying the practice, the WHO identified 28 conditions—notably muscle pain, nausea (including morning sickness), arthritis, and side effects brought on by chemotherapy—for which acupuncture was an effective treatment.
The agency identified another 69—including asthma, Bell’s palsy, sexual dysfunction, Meniere’s disease, and premenstrual syndrome—that were shown to have a therapeutic benefit from acupuncture.
That’s nearly 100 separate conditions that the WHO recognizes as benefitting, to varying degrees, from acupuncture treatment. There are numerous other conditions that have been mentioned in other studies as benefitting from acupuncture. I consider acupuncture to be part of your overall medical treatment, working in conjunction with your health care provider to design a plan to bring maximum relief for your symptoms.
Acupuncture for Pain
Back pain and stiffness. Strained neck and shoulders. Aching legs and lower back. Whether it’s an acute and chronic condition or just wear and tear, we’ve all been there. For thousands of years, acupuncture has been a proven method for relieving pain and promoting the body’s own natural healing. In treating both chronic and acute pain I use a combination of traditional meridian acupuncture theory and motor point/trigger point acupuncture in order to reestablish the neural pathways of muscles that are not firing properly. Each person's pain is unique to their condition so I work with patients to develop a treatment plan that facilitates their recovery.
Acupuncture for Anxiety, Depression and Stress
Anyone who has experienced mental health issues knows that there is a physical toll that anxiety, depression, and stress take on the body. The tension keeps muscles bound and knotted, which adds physical discomfort to the mental stress. Studies have also shown that this can become a vicious circle, with the brain’s response to the pain prolonging depression and anxiety.
Among the many benefits of acupuncture is the release of endorphins. The peptides activate opiate receptors in the body, which produces an analgesic effect. When people talk about a natural high, that’s what they’re referring to.
Chinese medicine doesn't separate the body and mind and works harmoniously with other forms of therapy to help find an equilibrium.
Acupuncture is well known for treating Women's Health including the following conditions: PMS, Irregular/Painful Periods, Menopause, Hormonal Disturbances, Fertility, Pregnancy Support.
Considering the benefits that acupuncture has on pain, it should come as no surprise that treatment can help alleviate the discomfort inherent from PMS and irregular or painful periods. As with other forms of pain, the dual benefits of released endorphins and relaxation combine to provide relief.
Less obvious are the positive effects of acupuncture during pregnancy. From the beginning, treatment can help alleviate morning sickness. As the body reacts to the changes, it can help with things ranging from back pain to constipation. Closer to labor, it can increase blood flow around the uterus, helping to prepare the body for delivery.
In fact, acupuncture can assist with becoming pregnant. In addition to being used to treat ovarian issues, the relaxation that is promoted by an acupuncture treatment can help promote fertility, both natural and in vitro fertilization.
In 2019, a Danish study showed that acupuncture can benefit women going through menopause. Symptoms including hot flashes and mood swings improved in participants undergoing treatment. No matter your age, acupuncture can help with hormonal imbalances, targeting glands to stimulate the body’s natural production of hormones.
Acupuncture treats Digestive conditions such as IBS, Chrone's disease, constipation, diarrhea, acid reflux and gastritis.
Digestive issues big or small can cause a major disruption to anyone’s life. Common issues like gas, constipation, nausea, heartburn, and diarrhea affect everyone occasionally but can be more than just a nuisance when they come on regularly. Chronic conditions like Crohn’s disease, acid reflux, and irritable bowel syndrome can quickly become debilitating.
Traditional Chinese medicine has been using acupuncture to treat digestion for millennia. Based on the specifics of your condition, I might suggest points that target the gallbladder, liver, or pancreas, in addition to the stomach or intestines. Treatment might also be used to reduce inflammation related to your condition.
Asthma, Allergies, Sinusitis, Ear Infections, Bronchitis
The body’s defences start with the airways. Sinus passages, bronchial tubes, lungs—issues with any of them can leave you weakened. Breathing problems can sap your strength and leave you feeling sluggish. Symptoms from seasonal allergies, asthma, bronchitis, and ear infections have all been found to respond positively to acupuncture.
Traditional Chinese Medicine places an emphasis on the health of the lungs. They are known as the “canopy,” since they occupy the upper position of the five zang organs (lungs, heart, liver, spleen, and kidney). The lungs are considered essential to the proper balance and circulation of qi throughout the body.
Treatments are designed to ensure that the lungs are functioning properly, both as the body’s way of expelling harmful elements, namely carbon dioxide, and in clearing the pathways for qi circulation.
In Western medicine, the practical explanation for how acupuncture helps conditions like asthma or bronchitis is in the natural anti-inflammatory response that it can generate. Inflammation is caused by the release of cytokines, proteins that signal cells to react in that manner. By stimulating key points in the body, acupuncture releases dopamine, which can balance out the immune system's response and lessen the inflammation.
The Rest of the story:
Because acupuncture is meant to treat the entire body, there really isn’t any condition that can’t benefit in some way from treatment. The symptoms of the common cold and flu can be lessened by the boost to the immune system that a session provides. Endorphins are released, making you feel both calmer and more energetic.
Among the many conditions that can benefit from a targeted acupuncture plan are: Alopecia areata (hair loss), Blood pressure, Cancer support, Chronic fatigue, Cystitis, Diabetes, Dizziness/Inner ear issues, Endocrine disorders, Eye issues, Fluid retention, Hives, Kidney infections, Skin conditions, Thyroid conditions, Urinary tract infections and many more.
Just as important as the conditions that can be treated by acupuncture are the issues that can be avoided through regular treatment. Traditional Chinese Medicine seeks to bring the body’s systems into balance, heading off issues before they begin. From a Western standpoint, acupuncture stimulates the production of red and white blood cells and T-cells. In addition, the reduction of stress and the relaxation that comes with a session have their own immune-boosting benefits. Before, during, or after the onset of any illness, acupuncture has a role to play in your overall wellness plan. Find out more about Acupuncture and Herbal Medicine...