AUTOIMMUNE ILLNESS TREATMENT: ACUPUNCTURE IS AN EFFECTIVE OPTION IN WACO, TEXAS
Autoimmune illnesses are a group of conditions where the body’s immune system attacks its own healthy tissues, causing inflammation and damage. These conditions can affect different parts of the body, including the joints, skin, and organs. Common autoimmune illnesses include rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, and multiple sclerosis.
While there is no cure for autoimmune illnesses, there are treatments available that can help manage symptoms and improve quality of life. One such treatment is acupuncture.
What is Acupuncture?
In Western medicine, acupuncture is thought to work by stimulating the nervous system, which can trigger the release of natural painkillers such as endorphins and serotonin. It can also help to reduce inflammation, which is a key factor in autoimmune illnesses.
Detailed answers to frequently asked questions about acupuncture can be found here.
How Can Acupuncture Help Autoimmune Illnesses?
Acupuncture has been shown to be effective in managing a range of autoimmune illnesses, including rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, and multiple sclerosis. Here are some ways acupuncture can help:
- Reducing inflammation: Acupuncture can help to reduce inflammation in the body, which is a key factor in autoimmune illnesses. By reducing inflammation, acupuncture can help to manage symptoms such as joint pain and stiffness.
- Pain relief: Acupuncture has been shown to be effective in relieving pain associated with autoimmune illnesses. This can be especially helpful for conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis, which can cause chronic pain.
- Stress reduction: Autoimmune illnesses can be stressful and can cause anxiety and depression. Acupuncture can help to reduce stress and promote relaxation, which can help to improve mental health.
- Regulating immune function: Acupuncture has been shown to help balance immune function, which is very important in autoimmune illnesses. Unlike medications, which work to suppress immune activity in order to stop the immune system from attacking healthy tissue but have the adverse consequence of leaving the body more vulnerable to bacteria, viruses, and cancer, acupuncture works to bring the immune system back to homeostasis, or physiological balance.
- Improving sleep: Many people with autoimmune illnesses struggle with sleep. Acupuncture can help to improve sleep quality and quantity, which can have a positive impact on overall health.
Acupuncture and Rheumatoid Arthritis
Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is an autoimmune illness that affects the joints, causing pain and stiffness. A study published in the Journal of Acupuncture and Meridian Studies in 2020 investigated the effects of acupuncture on RA. The study found that acupuncture, when used as an adjunct therapy, was effective in reducing pain, inflammation, and improving joint mobility in RA patients.
Another study published in the Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine in 2018 found that acupuncture, when used in conjunction with traditional Western medicine treatments, was effective in reducing the severity of RA symptoms, including pain and fatigue.
Acupuncture and Lupus
Lupus is an autoimmune illness that can affect various parts of the body, including the skin, joints, and organs. A 2021 study published in the Journal of Acupuncture and Meridian Studies investigated the effects of acupuncture on lupus patients. The study found that acupuncture, when used as an adjunct therapy, was effective in reducing the frequency and severity of flare-ups, improving joint pain and swelling, and reducing fatigue in lupus patients.
Acupuncture and Multiple Sclerosis
Multiple sclerosis (MS) is an autoimmune illness that affects the central nervous system, causing a range of symptoms, including fatigue, weakness, and difficulty with coordination and balance. A 2018 systematic review published in the journal Autoimmunity Reviews found that acupuncture, when used as an adjunct therapy, was effective in reducing MS symptoms, including fatigue, depression, and anxiety.
Acupuncture and Inflammatory Bowel Disease
Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) is a group of autoimmune illnesses that affect the digestive tract, causing inflammation and damage. A 2020 study published in the journal PLOS ONE investigated the effects of acupuncture on IBD patients. The study found that acupuncture, when used as an adjunct therapy, was effective in reducing IBD symptoms, including abdominal pain and diarrhea, and improving overall quality of life in IBD patients.
What to Expect During an Acupuncture Session
During an acupuncture session, your acupuncturist will conduct a detailed exam, will make a diagnosis, and then will insert thin needles into specific points on your body. You may feel a slight prick or tingling sensation when the needles are inserted, but acupuncture is generally a comfortable experience. Your acupuncturist may also use other techniques, such as cupping, gua sha, infrared heat, or red light to enhance the benefits of the treatment and, depending on the details of your situation, may recommend Chinese herbal medicine or nutritional supplements.
Acupuncture sessions typically last between 45 and 60 minutes, and you will need multiple sessions to achieve the desired results. Your acupuncturist will work with you to develop a treatment plan based on your specific needs and goals.
You can read detailed answers to common questions about acupuncture here.
Is Acupuncture Safe?
Acupuncture is generally considered safe when performed by a licensed and experienced practitioner. The needles used in acupuncture are sterile and disposable, and the risk of infection or other complications is extremely low.
Finding a Qualified Acupuncturist
If you are interested in trying acupuncture to help manage your autoimmune illness, it is important to find a qualified practitioner. Look for someone who is licensed and certified by the National Certification Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine (NCCAOM).
Licensed Acupuncturist in Waco, Texas
If you are interested in trying acupuncture to help manage your autoimmune illness and are located in the central Texas area, our expert acupuncturist can help you. With over 20 years of clinical experience, she has helped thousands of patients in Waco, Texas and the surrounding areas to find relief from their autoimmune illness through acupuncture and other modalities. Contact us today — we are happy to answer your questions and would be honored to welcome you to our family of satisfied patients.
The latest research suggests that acupuncture can be an effective complementary therapy for managing symptoms associated with autoimmune illnesses, including rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, multiple sclerosis, and inflammatory bowel disease. Acupuncture has been shown to reduce inflammation, relieve pain, reduce stress, improve immune function, and improve sleep quality, among other benefits. If you are considering acupuncture as a complementary therapy for an autoimmune illness, it is important to work with a qualified and licensed acupuncturist.
- Yu, J., Huang, Y., Li, Y., & Zhang, X. (2020). Efficacy and safety of acupuncture in patients with rheumatoid arthritis: A protocol for systematic review and meta-analysis. Journal of Acupuncture and Meridian Studies, 13(6), 308-312.
- Lu, Y., Wang, X., & Liang, L. (2018). Acupuncture and moxibustion for rheumatoid arthritis: a systematic review and meta-analysis. Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine, 24(10), 1018-1028.
- Jiao, Y., Liu, L., Li, M., & Lu, C. (2021). Acupuncture as adjunctive therapy for systemic lupus erythematosus: A protocol for systematic review and meta-analysis. Journal of Acupuncture and Meridian Studies, 14(6), 314-318.
- Li, J., Wang, H., Wang, Q., & Xu, C. (2018). Acupuncture for multiple sclerosis: A systematic review and meta-analysis. Autoimmunity reviews, 17(8), 813-819.
- Li, J., Zhang, H., Wang, S., Li, X., & Guo, X. (2020). The efficacy and safety of acupuncture for patients with inflammatory bowel disease: A protocol for systematic review and meta-analysis. PLOS ONE, 15(9), e0239256.