It's no surprise that acupuncture can help improve balance problems. After all, the ancient Asian medical practice is effective in treating illnesses and conditions ranging from diabetes to back pain to insomnia. If you suffer from balance issues, you'll want to consider this natural, drug-free treatment method.
How Do Acupuncturists Treat Balance Problems?
Identifying the cause of your problem is essential part of developing an effective treatment plan. Acupuncture treatment releases blockages of Qi, the life force that flows through your body in a series of meridians. Placing acupuncture needles in the corresponding meridians re-establishes normal Qi flow, diminishing your symptoms.
Before treatment begins, your acupuncture practitioner will spend time learning about your medical history, including when you first experienced your balance problem. These questions may seem routine, but the information you provide can offer valuable clues that help your practitioner determine the location of your blockage or imbalance.
Balance problems often occur as a result of vertigo or dizziness. Your body must be in balance to ensure perfect health. Qi deficiencies can occur if you've been ill, experienced significant stress or have spleen or heart problems. Even aging can cause deficiencies. Based on your symptoms, your acupuncture practitioner may diagnose your problem as liver, kidney or phlegm obstruction.
Acupuncture is also effective in treating balance problems caused by stroke, cerebellar ataxia and Parkinson's disease. In a study published in the American Journal of Chinese Medicine, researchers noted that first-time stroke patients who received acupuncture treatments experienced improvements in the center of gravity and decreased the amount of time needed to walk six meters or rise from a seated position.
The treatment also helped strengthen hip flexor and knee extensor muscles. In another study, Parkinson's disease patients who received acupuncture treatments saw improvements in gait speed and stride length after treatment. When your gait is stable, it's easier to keep your balance.
What's Involved in Acupuncture Treatment?
When many people imagine acupuncture treatment, they visualize long, thick needles poking out from their skin. If that were the case, treatment probably would be painful! Luckily, blockages can be released with needles as thin as a hair. You might feel a dull ache or slight pricking sensation when the needles are inserted, but most people don't find treatment to be painful. As Qi is released, you may even notice a slight vibrating sensation in your body.
Meridians aren't always located near the cause of the problem. For example in one study of ischemic stroke patients, researchers determined that placing acupuncture needles in the forearm, rather than the head, offered the greatest benefit.
Will My Acupuncture Practitioner Offer Other Treatments?
In many cases, taking Chinese herbal medications in addition to undergoing acupuncture treatments will help you overcome balance problems more quickly. Your practitioner may create a special blend of herbs designed to treat your problem. He or she may also make dietary or lifestyle suggestions that will help improve your health.
Are you tired of taking medications that do nothing to help your balance problems? Acupuncture treatment can help relieve your symptoms. Why not get in touch with us to find out how we can help you?
American Journal of Chinese Medicine: Acupuncture Stimulation Improves Balance Function in Stroke Patients, 2009
PLOS: A Pilot Clinical Trial to Objectively Assess the Efficacy of Electroacupuncture on Gait in Patients with Parkinson's Disease Using Body Worn Sensors, 5/26/16
Neural Regeneration Research: Acupuncture at Waiguan (TE5) Influences Activation/Deactivation of Functional Brain Areas in Ischemic Stroke Patients and Healthy People, 1/25/13
Acupuncture Today: Treating Vertigo, 9/13
Acupuncture Today: Enhancing TCM with Enzymes, 5/14