Acupuncture is increasing in popularity among celebrities wishing to improve their health and state of mind naturally.
The therapy is not new though. In fact, it was accepted as a complement to western medicine, in 1997, by the National Institute of Health. Since then a long list of purported health benefits has been linked to this ancient Chinese medicinal practice.
Does Acupuncture Work?
A study by Australian researchers has found acupuncture is just as effective for pain relief as analgesic drugs. Emergency physicians at The Alfred, Northern, Cabrini and Epworth hospitals partnered with RMIT’s school of health sciences.
They wanted to see if this ancient therapy could relieve acute pain in hundreds of patients with either lower-back pain, sprained ankles or migraines.
”Acupuncture was equivalent to what we defined as conventional medicine standard care, which was strong oral analgesia, such as Endone, Panadeine Forte, Voltaren and Valium,” says Dr Michael Ben-Meir, director of Cabrini Hospital’s emergency department.
He continues; “The randomised controlled study of about 550 patients also found that the combination of acupuncture with standard pharmaceutical care delivered equivalent pain relief to acupuncture alone or standard care alone.”
“It is particularly good for people who do not want drugs, such as pregnant women, and for those whose pain is not relieved by Western medicine,” he explains.
”I find that it doesn’t always help all patients, but occasionally it’s the thing that really shifts them and gets them home and gets their symptoms resolved,” he says.
”It has an effect, there’s no doubt about that. It’s just, when do you use it? How often? Which points? And who delivers it? There’s a lot to be thought about and analysed before something like this is a standard therapy.”
Dr Ben-Meir continues; “Although the exact mechanisms of acupuncture remained unclear, this was also the case for some Western medicines.”
“Rising health costs should encourage more scientific assessment of low-risk complementary medicines because new drugs were expensive to develop and could cause side effects,” he explains.
The Health Benefits of Acupuncture:
A 2009 study, published in the journal Nature, shows that this ancient Chinese therapy can be used to significantly reduce body weight and improve the outcomes of obesity. It was shown to allow for better outcomes than weight control drugs or lifestyle changes alone.
It works by stimulating certain nerves and muscles which improve energy flow and release endorphins, which stop you from craving more food and over indulging. Acupuncture will be most effective when supported with a healthy eating plan.
A study published earlier this year found that a fifteen-minute acupuncture treatment has the ability to improve migraine headaches. This is achieved by increasing blood flow in the body tissues.
A 2015 study found that the use of the drug BoNTA in conjunction with acupuncture improved the frequency and severity of migraine.
A 2013 study found that acupuncture could be a more efficient treatment then fluoxetine (Prozac). This is because it triggers endorphin stimulation in the brain. It also works faster than Prozac to relieve depression.
The American Pregnancy Association claims that a combination of acupuncture and herbal medicines could improve ovarian and follicular function.
The treatment could also increase blood flow to the uterus lining. This would help the lining to become thicker and richer.
A 2016 study, published earlier this year in the Journal of Integrative Medicine, found that acupuncture could be used to treat insomnia. It helps to balance hormones in the body and reduce stress. Both of which are factors that can interrupt sleep.
It’s important to remember that everyone is unique and will experience different benefits as a result of any medical treatment.
Celebrities Who Use Acupuncture:
These celebrities have used acupuncture for everything from stress to weight loss, healthy skin to infertility: