Autoimmune disorders are often difficult to treat. Although medications can help, they often have unpleasant side effects. Acupuncture can reduce pain and other symptoms without any troublesome side effects. Acupuncture is not an effective treatment for everyone with an autoimmune disorder, but it is worth a try if traditional treatment methods do not completely relieve your symptoms.
What Is Acupuncture?
Acupuncture is an ancient alternative medicine practice invented by the Chinese thousands of years ago. Practitioners believe that a vital life energy called qi runs throughout your body. If your qi becomes blocked, illness and pain can occur. Practitioners insert very thin needles into strategic locations on the body to release qi and relieve symptoms.
What Happens When You Have an Autoimmune Disease?
Normally, your body's immune response jumps into action when viruses or other pathogens invade your body. In short, it attacks and eliminates foreign cells that cause illness. If your immune system is working perfectly, it can tell the difference between your body's cells and invading cells. When you have an autoimmune disease, the body loses this ability and begins to attack your own cells.
Doctors do not completely understand why your body reacts this way. It's possible that some people have an inherited tendency to develop an autoimmune disorder if they are exposed to a particular virus, toxin, drug or bacterium. Although the cause may not be understood, the symptoms are very obvious. If you have an autoimmune disease, inflammation in your body can lead to a variety of symptoms, including muscle weakness and pain, joint pain, fevers, tingling in the hands and feet, hair loss, weight loss and difficulty concentrating.
How Can Acupuncture Help?
Acupuncture can help reduce inflammation by prompting your body to release endorphins, which are natural substances that help reduce pain. It also causes your brain, nerve cells and pituitary gland to release a variety of proteins, hormones and brain chemicals. These substances help improve immune system function and regulate body temperature and blood pressure. Acupuncture can also be helpful in relieving insomnia, which is often a problem when you suffer from chronic pain. Additional benefits include increased energy levels, improvement of moods and fewer digestive problems.
Researchers studied the effects of acupuncture on a group of people with rheumatoid arthritis and discovered that patients who received acupuncture treatment experienced less tenderness in their joints.
Can I Throw Away My Autoimmune-Disorder Medication After Acupuncture?
Acupuncture can be very helpful in relieving inflammation, pain and other symptoms, but acupuncture treatments alone might not be enough to completely relieve your pain. Although you might not be able to get rid of your medication, you may be able to decrease the dosage. The combination of medication, acupuncture and stress relief strategies can be very helpful in reducing the painful symptoms of autoimmune disorders. However, you must speak with your prescribing doctor before making any changes to treatment regimen.
If you suffer from an autoimmune disorder and would like to learn more about how acupuncture can help alleviate your symptoms, call us today. We are happy to answer any questions you may have and schedule an appointment for acupuncture treatment for you.