Acupuncture: What the Studies Say

Acupuncture is a fascinating subject not only for all those to practice it and derive benefit from it, but also those from the mainstream scientific community who scoff at it. For this reason acupuncture is one of the most studied alternative therapies available.

Very recently a study conducted in the United States on the treatment that involves the insertion of fine needles into specific points in the body, found that acupuncture can help to relieve stress. It is thought that the protein neuropeptide, which is found in the blood and which is connected to stress levels in the body may be affected by acupuncture.

AcupunctureChronic stress is known to increase risk of heart disease, elevate blood pressure and so on. However this study conducted on rats found that acupuncture (in this case electroacupunture) could assist in relaxation and help reduce stress.

It was found that the rats that were treated with acupuncture had lower levels of the neuropeptide protein in their blood and that this beneficial impact continued even after the acupuncture treatment was stopped.

So the benefits of acupuncture were seen to be present in the short term as well as the longer term. According to the researchers, though the stress relieving benefits of acupuncture are well documented, this is the first time that molecular proof of this has been provided.

Acupuncture is also known to help with cancer related fatigue, found another study. This fatigue is very common with cancer patients and can prevent normal activities and enjoyment of life as well as feeling of wellbeing. The study found that patient education and acupuncture were able to improve health.

Acupuncture for relieving lower back pain and knee osteoarthritis pain has also showed promising results. For instance it has been seen that lower back pain that doesn’t respond to conventional treatment responds well to acupuncture and that it could also be beneficial for treating menstrual pain. On the subject of using acupuncture for osteoarthritis, researchers said that it may be too early to prescribe this alternative treatment in routine course, the efficacy of acupuncture for treating this ailment is seen to be effective.

The beneficial impact of acupuncture on infertility is another well researched subject. It has been seen that stress can be a very significant impediment to conceiving since the stress hormones have direct bearing on the reproductive hormones. Since acupuncture is known to ease stress, it is possibly in this way that acupuncture can aid in conception. Studies have been able to demonstrate that both acupuncture as well as yoga can help to increase fertility levels and can help women who are trying to get pregnant.