9 Surprising Things An Acupuncturist Can Help You With

They just might convince you to give the treatment a try.

December 17, 2015
acupuncture
PHOTOGRAPH BY NICOLEVANF/GETTY

Acupuncture, a form of alternative medicine and core component of traditional Chinese medicine, is a welcome antidote to the prescription meds and quick-fix interventions typical of Western medical culture. By inserting thin needles into specific pressure points, it’s thought to help relieve the symptoms of a wide variety of conditions by shifting your body from attack mode to a more balanced, restful state. As unscientific as it may sound, it’s becoming an increasingly accepted practice. Even the National Institute of Health is getting on board by saying that promising results have emerged illustrating the efficacy of acupuncture for certain ailments. Read on for nine truly surprising things that just might convince you to give this ancient practice a try. 

Soothe Sore Throats
It’s best if you catch it early, but a combination of acupuncture, cupping (suction that mobilizes blood flow), gua sha (scraping using oils and the side of a Chinese soup spoon), and herbs can help kick things like sore throat, according to licensed acupuncturist Cat Calhoun of Whole Human in Austin, Texas. In Eastern medicine, colds and flus are known as wind invasions or external pathogenic factors and can either take the form of wind heat (inflammation) or wind cold (an unshakeable cold feeling). A combo of these treatments is thought to draw out the invaders and helps relieve your symptoms.

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Help With That Time Of The Month
“Acupuncture is incredibly effective in dealing with hormonal issues like PMS, mood swings, and cramps,” says nationally board-certified acupuncturist Paige Bourassa. Plus, it can help to regulate periods. Coupled with a regimen of Chinese herbs, it can nourish, balance, and strengthen your internal organs, so the monthly monster isn’t so disruptive.

Related: Seven Great Things Happen When You Stop Using Tampons

Slow Signs Of Aging
Bourassa notes that there’s a specialty called facial rejuvenation acupuncture that can help build collagen, lift drooping eyelids, reduce under-eye bags, and tighten double chins without the use of creams, serums, and Botox. Give it about 12 treatments, says Bourassa, and you should notice more youthful, smoother, and more glowing skin.

Give You A Flatter Stomach
The spleen and stomach are the main organs associated with digestion, and by keeping them in balance, you can treat a number of disorders associated with the digestive tract, notes Sara Calabro, licensed acupuncturist and founder of acupuncture publication AcuTake. Regular treatment can help reduce bloating, treat acid reflux, soothe heartburn by regulating acid secretion and speeding digestion, and even help you lose weight. 

Make Things Better In The Bedroom
Acupuncturists, unlike MDs, take a holistic approach to your health, so they try to make the physical, mental, and emotional connections that may be preventing you from having a fulfilling sex life. “By calming the nervous system, acupuncture treatments can help alleviate the stress and tension that can get in the way of good sex,” Calabro says. When emotional energy gets stuck, the body tightens and constricts, but acupuncturists can use needles to help break up this stagnation and allow for smoother flow to sexual organs. Also, if you are polycystic, it’s thought to help relieve physical pain to make sex more enjoyable.

Related: Eight Habits Of Happily Married Couples

Have A Happy Baby
According to acupuncturists Dawn Balusik and Ayesha Atique, one popular point used during pregnancy is known as the happy baby point. Located on the inner part of the lower leg, it will supposedly help guarantee that your baby will be born happy. Traditionally, this point is needled every trimester to ensure the full benefit. 

Relieve Carpal Tunnel Pain
Acupuncture helps unblock and loosen the blood and chi that is stagnating and causing pain in the wrist’s tightened fascia. The National Institute of Health states that it may be useful as part of a comprehensive pain-management program. 

Related: 5 Yoga Poses That Relieve Pain Naturally

Ease Asthma Symptoms
Acupuncturists says the practice helps lubricate the lungs and opens up air passages so people can rely less on their inhalers. According to the National Institute of Health, acupuncture may be useful as an adjunct treatment. (Note: It’s never a substitute for an inhaler. Always talk to your primary doctor before you even think of abandoning it.)

Get You High
By working on a meridian matrix that affects the central nervous system, acupuncture initiates the release of endorphins that put you in a state of calm, according to Bourassa. People who get acupuncture regularly refer to this (naturally and legally) euphoric state as acu-land, a magical place where you’re totally blissed out.

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