Last Updated on November 9, 2021
Chronic illness isn’t easy to deal with, and many patients often end up scrambling for ways to relieve the pain. In our previous article on ‘Who Should I See When I’m in Pain?’, we discussed how discomfort could be caused by many reasons, and not just from the illness itself.
Factors like hormones, poor diet, and vitamin deficiencies can all contribute to pain, which means that you may not be as exempt as you think. In fact, by 2025, researchers from Maryville University estimate that about 164 million Americans will be affected by chronic pain. That’s nearly half the population. And while this is a staggering number, that means it is all the more important to find medical solutions to help alleviate its symptoms.
This is where methods like acupuncture come in. Contrary to popular belief, acupuncture isn’t just reserved for spas and traditional medicine. This treatment actually boasts tons of benefits for pain relief from chronic illnesses.
Here’s how it works.
Regulates sugar levels
Diabetes is a chronic disease that plagues millions of Americans every year. If left unchecked, it could lead to complications such as heart disease and nerve damage. Medical teams have been looking for a way to curb its symptoms, and found that acupuncture can do the job. According to studies from the Beijing University of Chinese Medicine, this is because it’s great at regulating sugar levels. A pressure point on the back called Yi Shu can stimulate the pancreas, which is the organ responsible for controlling the glucose in your blood.
Provides digestive support
Certain chronic conditions such as celiac disease, irritable bowel syndrome, and Crohn’s disease can often cause nausea and a lot of vomiting. Fortunately, acupuncture can improve the digestive tract by targeting specific parts that speed up metabolism. Moreover, it helps with muscle contraction in the stomach and can even decrease its acidity levels.
Reduces stress and anxiety
Chronic illness is bound to cause more than just physical pains, as patients also have to deal with the everyday stress of living with it too. Acupuncture can help you manage the effects as it stimulates the release of oxytocin—a hormone that signals the parasympathetic nervous system (PNS), or the “rest and digest system” responsible for feelings of calmness. There are many specific points to target for this, and experts on Zenful Spirit explain that the activity of acupuncture is just naturally relaxing.
Improves sleep quality
When you’re suffering from a chronic illness and pain, it can be tough to fall asleep. Luckily, doctor of Chinese medicine Noah Rubinstein notes that the treatment has some amazing sleep-inducing effects. This is because acupuncture can target specific points that allow your body to heal and self-regulate, thus putting your body in a more balanced and deeply relaxed state. Therefore, getting some quality shut-eye is almost guaranteed.
While acupuncture’s benefits are undisputed, it’s only intended to be a complementary treatment and is by no means a miracle medicine. It shouldn’t replace proper medication. If your symptoms from chronic illness persist, seek professional help from your local physician.
Exclusively written for innergateacupuncture.com by Stacia Breyer