Acupuncture has been around for over 2,500 years. Making use of needles to treat various health conditions, it has now become a staple in complementary care. Despite slim research, acupuncture is showing promise especially as a complementary therapy. Alternative therapies like acupuncture can help add to a primary form of therapy. On another note, physical health conditions aren’t the only ones acupuncture can treat. Here are 15 common mental health conditions acupuncture can help heal:
Anxiety disorders usually require therapy, medication, or a combination of both. Acupuncture is one of the alternative treatments that can help treat anxiety. It involves stimulating pressure points in the body either on your own or with a professional’s help.
An increase in endorphins provides emotional boost and improves mood. Acupressure helps with mood disorders by triggering endorphin release and lowering cortisol (stress hormone). It can also stop minor annoyances from becoming serious problems.
Though not a lot of studies have looked at and proven acupuncture’s benefits, some large studies have. There are promising results especially when clinical treatments use acupuncture as part of a complementary care plan.
OCD (Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder)
Another one commonly paired with psychotherapy is acupuncture for OCD. It works by stimulating pressure points to help reduce obsessive thoughts and compulsive behavior. Studies have also shown that electroacupuncture produces a faster effect.
Because acupressure helps manage chemicals in the body, it’s good in handling emotions and stress. It can help relieve physical, mental, and emotional stress. Results vary from person to person, but rapid results are said to appear within only one or two sessions.
Overcoming an addiction is difficult, but studies continue to show how acupuncture can help. In addition to mental health treatment, it can aid in detoxification and promote sobriety. Acupuncture helps patients feel relief from their cravings and withdrawal symptoms.
More research is needed, but acupuncture may help ease symptoms and the underlying condition itself. In a 2013 study, researchers found that electroacupuncture (uses mild electric current transmitted through the needles) was effective in easing depression symptoms.
More and more Americans are turning to age-old holistic treatments. Licensed acupuncturist John Kolenda says. “Chinese medicine, which includes acupuncture, massage and herbal medicine, is a very popular way to help individuals relax and re-energize. It can help with conditions such as anxiousness, depression, insomnia, tense muscles, headaches and pain; all things many of us experience.”
According to Kolenda, many patients report an enhanced sense of well-being and a deep feeling of relaxation after an acupuncture or massage treatment. “One of the reasons acupuncture and massage are so popular is because they provide health benefits that are also free of side effects when performed by a licensed professional”, Kolenda said.
Credit: American College of Traditional Chinese Medicine at California Institute of Integral Studies
All in all, acupuncture is a good alternative therapy for both physical and mental health conditions. It’s safe for most people and rarely causes any side effects. However, as in other forms of treatment, it’s still important to seek professional advice. Only a professional can help you know if you’re physically and mentally fit for something. Considering acupuncture involves doing some research and making sure that you’re up for it. Finding a certified and well-trained practitioner is the last step. As long as it’s safe, there’s no harm in trying non-traditional types of treatment.
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