by Claudine S. Amirian
Autumn is the harvest season; here are ways acupuncture, herbs and Eastern nutrition can help you harvest a calmer, pain-free, happier life. In the midst of everyone’s busy life, it’s vital to take time to listen to our body’s needs. Chinese medicine can de-stress and balance the body in multiple ways. (Foods that are healthy to add to the diet to warm and balance the body in the autumn include sour foods, such as olives, pickles, adzuki beans, lemons and sour apples.)
Many don’t realize the scientific benefits of acupuncture and how useful it can be to help reduce everyday symptoms of imbalance. Here are six ways acupuncture can help to balance your life and assist you to enjoy optimum health this season.
1. Reduces aches and pains: As the season brings on cooler weather, aches and pain can increase. Also, strenuous everyday activities, lifestyle and aging can all lead to pain. Chronic pain can hinder a person from activities. In a recent study by the Archives of Internal Medicine, research showed that acupuncture is indeed a good treatment for chronic pain. It was recommended that doctors should start suggesting it as treatment for arthritis and other chronic ailments. Acute and chronic pain are the most common reasons people seek acupuncturists, especially since there is so much well-documented scientific literature.
2. Balances hormones: Many people experience premenstrual syndrome, menopause, infertility or diabetes, which are all connected to an imbalance of hormones. Chinese medicine can balance your hormones with acupressure, moxa and/or herbs. Acupuncture can also balance the emotions and reduce anxiety. A study from China, published in the August issue of the Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine, found that a low dose of fluoxetine (Prozac) combined with acupuncture therapy was just as effective at reducing anxiety in patients being treated for depression as full-dose medication. Cutting the dose and adding acupuncture also reduced the drug’s side effects, which can include nausea, weight gain and a decreased sex drive.
3. Soothes indigestion: Many people experience acid reflux. Brazilian researchers recently published proof that acupuncture therapy alleviated heartburn and indigestion in pregnant women. One group of pregnant women was given a combination of acupuncture and medications, while another group was counseled on dietary changes and given medications if needed. Over the course of the study, 75 percent of the women in the acupuncture group saw heartburn intensity, and antacid use, decline, while only 44 percent of women in the standard-treatment group saw those same effects.
4. Dulls persistent headaches: A review of 22 studies involving acupuncture therapy, migraines and tension headaches found that regular acupuncture therapy was effective at preventing tension headaches and migraines from becoming a problem, and that it was an effective treatment for existing headaches.
5. Manages weight: Acupuncture has been proven in a study from Korea, which analyzed 31 studies on a total of 3,013 people, to be more effective in decreasing body weight than lifestyle changes and medications. Acupuncture and herbs can help curve appetite, balance the thyroid, strengthen digestion, move bowels and more.
6. Lifts skin: Acupuncture tightens pores, improves muscle tone and dermal contraction, while enhancing and increasing the elasticity of the skin. It can reduce signs of aging by strengthening and stimulating the circulation of qi within the meridian pathways, especially those to the face. Through a succession of treatments, you will look and feel more energetic, pain-free, calm, vibrant and healthy.
So, whether you have pain in your body, indigestion or just want to be proactive and pamper your body, it is an ideal time to treat yourself to an acupuncture/acupressure treatment. Packaged treatments currently available.
Claudine S. Amirian, LAc, MS, is an acupuncturist. For an appointment, call 917-309-2758.