Other Conditions & Acupuncture

There are many other conditions that respond well to acupuncture, including:-

  • Irritable bowel syndrome
  • Fibromyalgia
  • Headaches / migraines
  • Side effects to other treatments
  • Rheumatoid Arthritis
  • Stress Anxiety and Depression
  • Care of the patient with Cancer and / or undergoing Chemotherapy or radiotherapy

Rheumatoid Arthritis

Rheumatoid arthritis is a chronic condition that can cause pain, stiffness, progressive joint destruction and deformity, and reduce physical function and quality of life.

How acupuncture can help

In general, acupuncture is believed to stimulate the nervous system and cause the release of neurochemical messenger molecules. The resulting biochemical changes influence the body's homeostatic mechanisms, thus promoting physical and emotional well-being. Acupuncture treatment may help to relieve pain, relieve stress & anxiety, reduce joint inflammation and improve function in patients with rheumatoid arthritis.

Irritible Bowel Syndrome

Research has shown that acupuncture treatment may benefit IBS symptoms by:

  • Providing pain relief (Pomeranz 1987).
  • Regulating the motility of the digestive tract (Yin 2010, Chen 2008).
  • Raising the sensory threshold of the gut. Various possible mechanisms have been identified, involving spinal nerves and NMDA receptors and a range of neurotransmitters (Xu 2009, Ma 2009, Tian 2008, Tian 2006, Xing 2004). A lowered threshold to bowel pain and distention are hallmarks of IBS.
  • Increasing parasympathetic tone (Schneider 2007b). Stress activates the sympathetic nervous system, which can stimulate colon spasms, resulting in abdominal discomfort. In people with IBS, the colon can be oversensitive to the smallest amount of conflict or stress. Acupuncture activates the opposing parasympathetic nervous system, which initiates the relaxation or 'rest and digest' response.
  • Reducing anxiety and depression (Samuels 2008). The distress provoked by IBS symptoms can lead to a vicious cycle of anxiety-pain-anxiety, while the embarrassing nature of the condition can lead to feelings of depression. Acupuncture can alter the brain's mood chemistry, increases production of serotonin and endorphins (Han 2004), helping to combat these negative affective states.

There is consistent evidence that a course of acupuncture improves IBS symptoms and general wellbeing.

Fibromyalgia

Around 1 in 25 of the UK population has fibromyalgia, a lifelong condition involving widespread musculoskeletal pain and tenderness, fatigue, sleep disturbance, and functional impairment, without any known structural or inflammatory cause.

How acupuncture can help

In general, acupuncture is believed to stimulate the nervous system and cause the release of neurochemical messenger molecules. The resulting biochemical changes influence the body's homeostatic mechanisms, thus promoting physical and emotional well-being. Stimulation of certain acupuncture points has been shown to affect areas of the brain that are known to reduce sensitivity to pain and stress, as well as promoting relaxation and deactivating the 'analytical' brain, which is responsible for anxiety (Wu 1999).

Acupuncture may help relieve pain in patients with fibromyalgia by:

  • altering the brain's chemistry, increasing endorphins and neuropeptide Y levels, and reducing serotonin levels ;
  • stimulating nerves located in muscles and other tissues, which leads to release of endorphins and other neurohumoral factors, and changes the processing of pain in the brain and spinal cord reducing inflammation, by promoting release of vascular and immunomodulatory factors
  • improving muscle stiffness and joint mobility by increasing local microcirculation, which aids dispersal of swelling.
Headaches & Migraines

Headache is one of the most frequent reasons for medical consultations, in both general practice and neurology clinics.(Steiner 2007) Tension type headaches and migraines occur in up to around 80% of the UK adult population(Steiner 2007), and are more prevalent in women (65% of cases in one survey).(Friedman 1954).

The aim of conventional treatment is to reduce the frequency, severity, and duration of headache, with minimal adverse effects from treatment. Prescribed and over-the-counter medications such as paracetamol and ibuprofen are taken to alleviate headaches.

How acupuncture can help

In general, acupuncture is believed to stimulate the nervous system and cause the release of neurochemical messenger molecules. The resulting biochemical changes influence the body's homeostatic mechanisms, thus promoting physical and emotional well-being. Stimulation of certain acupuncture points has been shown to affect areas of the brain that are known to reduce sensitivity to pain and stress (Hui 2010)

Acupuncture may help to relieve tension-type headache by:

  • increasing endorphins and neuropeptide Y levels which can help to combat negative affective states;
  • stimulating nerves located in muscles and other tissues, which leads to release of endorphins and other neurohumoral factors, and changes the processing of pain in the brain and spinal cord
  • reducing inflammation, by promoting release of vascular and immunomodulatory factors
  • increasing local microcirculation (Komori 2009), which aids dispersal of swelling.
Care of the patient with Cancer and / or undergoing Chemotherapy & radiotherapy

Cancer and the treatments for cancer are associated with various symptoms. Fatigue is the most common symptom reported by survivors of cancer (Johnston 2007). Forty percent of people with early or intermediate stage cancer, and 90% with advanced cancer, have moderate to severe pain; up to 70% of those with cancer pain do not receive adequate pain relief (Paley 2011). Hot flushes are common in women with a history of breast cancer.

Many patients undergoing chemotherapy experience nausea and vomiting . The symptoms can be severe, impairing a patient's quality of life, causing emotional distress, and aggravating cancer-related symptoms such as cachexia, lethargy and weakness.

How acupuncture can help

Pain Relief Acupuncture may provide long-term pain relief in patients with cancer.

Fatigue Acupuncture may be an effective treatment for fatigue which is reported so frequent by survivors of Cancer.

Nausea and vomiting Acupuncture can help relieve nausea and vomiting, especially in acute situations.

In general, acupuncture is believed to stimulate the nervous system and cause the release of neurochemical messenger molecules. The resulting biochemical changes influence the body's homeostatic mechanisms, thus promoting physical and emotional well-being.

Research has shown that acupuncture treatment may specifically benefit symptoms associated with cancer and its treatment by:

  • Acting on areas of the brain known to reduce sensitivity to pain and stress, as well as promoting relaxation and deactivating the 'analytical' brain, which is responsible for anxiety and worry
  • Regulating neurotransmitters (or their modulators) and hormones such as serotonin, noradrenaline, dopamine, GABA, neuropeptide Y and ACTH; hence altering the brains's mood chemistry to help to combat negative affective states
  • Increasing the release of adenosine, which has antinociceptive properties
  • Improving muscle stiffness and joint mobility by increasing local microcirculation , which aids dispersal of swelling;
  • Stimulating production of endogenous opioids that affect the autonomic nervous system. Stress activates the sympathetic nervous system, while acupuncture can activate the opposing parasympathetic nervous system, which initiates the relaxation response;
  • Reducing inflammation, by promoting release of vascular and immunomodulatory factors

NB Acupuncture may be used for some of the symptoms of cancer, and the side effects of conventional cancer treatments, but it is not used to address the cancer itself.

Stress, Anxiety & Depression

Stress, Anxiety & Depression are common health problem that affect people of all genders, ages, and backgrounds. 2004).

Women are twice as likely as men to become depressed partly due to hormone changes occurring pre-menstrually, at menopause, during pregnancy or after childbirth.

In general, acupuncture is believed to stimulate the nervous system and cause the release of neurochemical messenger molecules. The resulting biochemical changes influence the body's homeostatic mechanisms, thus promoting physical and emotional wellbeing.

Acupuncture can be safely combined with conventional medical treatments such as anti-depressants, helping to reduce their side effects and enhance their beneficial effects.

Acupuncture treatment can also help resolve physical ailments such as chronic pain, which may be a contributing cause of stress, anxiety or depression.

Treating other conditions with acupuncture - Mansfield & Nottingham

 

Treating headaches with acupuncture