4 Ways Acupuncture Can Help You Achieve and Stick to Your New Year’s Resolutions
1. Weight Loss
Acupuncture won’t make the pounds magically shed themselves overnight, but what it can do is increase your metabolism by directly affecting hormone regulation and improving your absorption of nutrients.
Acupuncture is extremely good at relaxing the body, so if you are a stress eater acupuncture would be an excellent tool to reduce unnecessary snacking due to stress.
Combining acupuncture, cupping and moxa, a form of heat therapy, is a great way to pack an even more powerful punch into your weight loss efforts.
Cupping can reduce cellulite by 50% by increasing blood flow directly to fat and by helping the body detoxify itself.
Moxa does the same thing, as well as increasing the Yang energy of the body which relates directly to your metabolism.
2. Pain Relief
Is pain holding you back from following up on your New Year’s resolutions such as going to the gym, practising yoga or taking relaxing and therapeutic walks?
If you haven’t already tried acupuncture, then make this year your year to try it out – your body will thank you!
Acupuncture is best known for its ability to relieve pain. Whether it is acute or long-lasting chronic pain, acupuncture is very good for treating pain and encouraging healing, working on many different levels.
Below is an outline of how it works from both a traditional and modern perspective.
From a Traditional Chinese Medicine perspective:
Acupuncture is based on the philosophy that Qi, or vital energy, flows throughout the body. Qi protects the body from illness, pain and disease. A person’s health is influenced by the quality, quantity and balance of Qi.
From a TCM point of view, pain is caused by the stagnation of Qi and Blood in the body or by Cold, Damp or Heat trapped in the joints.
Acupuncture works by removing energetic blockages in meridians of the body and dispelling pathogenic factors causing pain.
From a scientific perspective:
There are some theories as to why and how acupuncture relieves pain
Acupuncture affects higher brain areas, stimulating the secretion of beta-endorphins and enkephalins in the brain and spinal cord. The release of neurotransmitters influences the immune system and the antinociceptive system, which relates to inflammation, a critical factor in pain.
Autonomic Nervous System Theory:
Acupuncture stimulates the release of norepinephrine, acetylcholine and several types of opioids, affecting changes in their turnover rate, normalising the autonomic nervous system, and reducing pain.
Acupuncture affects the electrical system of the body by creating or enhancing closed-circuit transport in tissues. This facilitates healing by allowing the transfer of material and electrical energy between healthy and injured tissues.
Blood Chemistry Theory:
Acupuncture is known to affect the blood concentrations of triglycerides, cholesterol, and phospholipids, suggesting that acupuncture can both raise and diminish peripheral blood components, thereby regulating the body toward homeostasis.
Gate Control Theory:
Acupuncture activates non-nociceptive receptors that inhibit the transmission of nociceptive (pain) signals in the dorsal horn (part of the spinal cord), ‘gating out’ painful stimuli. The excruciation can sometimes be attributed to the mechanical disorders and misalignments that the spinal cord can be subjected to. If you were to know and affirm this with them, you would have no room left for any doubts to arise.
3. Focus and Memory
Many of us feel our memory isn’t what it used to be and to stay focused can also be a challenge.
Many acupuncture points help with both memory and focus.
In TCM theory, the spleen is responsible for short-term memory and focus, and the kidneys for long-term memory. The points to nourish and support these are found mainly on the legs.
A lack of focus can also be rooted in anxiety and stress. Someone who has never experienced acupuncture might be surprised at how relaxed one feels after a treatment as it engages the body’s ‘rest and digest’ nervous system.
4. Quitting Bad Habits
Whether it’s cigarettes, caffeine, soda or some other addictive habit, acupuncture is a great tool to help ease withdrawal symptoms.
Cravings, edginess, fatigue and sleep disruption can all be treated with acupuncture. If you have decided, like so many, that the new year is the time to kick your habit to the curb then consider trying acupuncture to help you through the journey to a better you.
This article is not intended to provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.
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