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Acupuncture for Treating Chronic Illnesses & Pain

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Some say nature’s best medicine is yourself. Your body wants to protect itself; heal itself; and touch the edges of its true potential. But that is not always the case for those with a chronic illness. Whether you were diagnosed early in life or later on, it can be very hard to trust your body when you are still learning to understand it.

Researchers have found that acupuncture is a great modality to not only help with symptoms of multiple chronic illnesses but also get you back into trusting your body once again. One study comparing acupuncture to non-acupuncture participants cited the acupuncture group to having a 50% or more reduction in pain (Vickers & Linde, 2014). A meta-study also saw the benefits of acupuncture when it came to treating chronic pain (Vickers et al., 2018).

Specifically, for IBS (Irritable Bowel Syndrome) acupuncture was found to significantly improve their symptoms with it compared to no acupuncture (Lembo et al., 2009). People with Crohn’s disease can also find significant benefits of using acupuncture as well as moxibustion to help improve their quality of life while decreasing its adverse side effects (Bao et al., 2014).

Acupuncture can help relieving symptoms such as pain, bloating, and headaches by stimulating different acupressure points on the body. When stimulated, these points help increase your body’s natural ability to produce collagen and red blood cells while balancing the hormones in your body – a potential major factor that chronic illnesses occur.

Your nutrition and lifestyle choices may also aggravate chronic illnesses, especially if you don’t know which foods works well for and with your body. The scary truth about any chronic illness and pain is despite numerous research, every person with a chronic illness is unique. Your body may respond differently to whatever diet, stressor, and activity you put it through which can only make things more frustrating in some ways and helpful in others. Adding acupuncture to your treatment plan can also help alleviate stress, fatigue, and insomnia which can come from dealing with the unknown of your chronic illness and the side effects of the chronic illness itself. Get in touch with a Holistic practitioner who not only understands the Western methodology of your chronic illness and pain, but also the Eastern approach. Having both medical toolkits in your bag may be the key to trusting your body again, chronic illness and all.


References

Bao, C. H., Zhao, J. M., Liu, H. R., Lu, Y., Zhu, Y. F., Shi, Y., Weng, Z. J., Feng, H., Guan, X., Li, J., Chen, W. F., Wu, L. Y., Jin, X. M., Dou, C. Z., & Wu, H. G. (2014). Randomized controlled trial: moxibustion and acupuncture for the treatment of Crohn’s disease. World journal of gastroenterology20(31), 11000–11011. https://doi.org/10.3748/wjg.v20.i31.11000

Lembo, A. J., Conboy, L., Kelley, J. M., Schnyer, R. S., McManus, C. A., Quilty, M. T., Kerr, C. E., Drossman, D., Jacobson, E. E., & Davis, R. B. (2009). A treatment trial of acupuncture in IBS patients. The American journal of gastroenterology104(6), 1489–1497. https://doi.org/10.1038/ajg.2009.156

Vickers, A. J, Linde, K. (2014). Acupuncture for Chronic Pain. JAMA; 311(9):955–956. doi:10.1001/jama.2013.285478

Vickers, A. J., Vertosick, E. A., Lewith, G., MacPherson, H., Foster, N. E., Sherman, K. J., Irnich, D., Witt, C. M., Linde, K. (2018). Acupuncture for chronic pain: update of an individual patient data meta-analysis. The Journal of Pain; 19(9): 455-474.

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