Originating more than 3,000 years ago in Asia, today Acupuncture is widely used for various types of health conditions. WHO has listed more than 65 indications for acupuncture treatment and here in the United States it is the fast growing alternative medicine and the integral option for natural healthcare. A recent study has found that almost 3.5 millions of American had received acupuncture in the previous year.
In the care of the senior community, acupuncture offers many facets of potential medical benefits. Statistically speaking, it is a clinical effective and cost-efficient approach for many age-related health concerns. The best part is, no prescription needed.
Acupuncture focuses on improving the circulatory flow, balancing our bodies’ hormones, boosting energy level and regulating internal organ function. By doing that, many seniors have reported their quality of life has returned because they are sleeping better, gaining more energy, mentally more clear and body aches have lessened.
Acupuncture Today has referenced an evidenced-based research that acupuncture is shown to protect the immune system against the negative effects of stress and aging by inhibiting inflammatory cytokines, 4 modulating leukocytes, increasing T-cells, and increasing IL-2 while decreasing IL-6. In fact, acupuncture is one of the most well-researched medicines in the world.
Benefits of acupuncture for seniors may include but not limited to the following:
– Studies have suggested that the prevalence of musculoskeletal pain in older adults ranges from 65 to 85% , with 36 to 70% of them suffering from back pain. Acupuncture works extremely well to reduce pain level and muscle tension due to aging. It doesn’t just mask the pain, but reduces the pain level by facilitating the blood flow into the painful area to supply what it needs to repair the damaged tissues. Many report the improvement as short as one session while most others may require 6-12 sessions to stabilize the condition.
– recent studies have suggested that pre-dementia memory loss improved with acupuncture. Acupuncture placed on the specific region of the scalp and ear can have direct effect on the brain activities. In 2017, a randomized controlled study published on BMC Complementary and Alternative Medicine concluded that acupuncture is effective in improving mild to moderate Alzheimer’s disease.
Mental Emotional Wellbeing
– Most elderly have reported sadness and loneliness especially when social support is lacking. Acupuncture theory sees the intricate connection between the physiological body and the mental-emotional state. Each acupuncture session provides a chance for the mind-body connection to be realigned. The CDC and Psych Central discuss how acupuncture is now recognized as a legitimate treatment for many mental and emotional health problems.
Improve sleep quality
– One of the most common sleep disturbances in the older population is insomnia. As many as 50% of older adults complain about difficulty initiating or maintaining sleep. Partly it is due to hormonal changes, and partly emotional anxiety and worries. Acupuncture improves the sleep quality by balancing our body’s natural rhythm to help us sleep better.
– Fatigue is a common symptom in elderly persons and often seen as the result of aging. Many people rely on caffeine to ‘boost’ their energy but in fact, coffee or tea is just a stimulant it doesn’t generate energy at all. Acupuncture helps to improve overall energy and mental alertness when one is awake.
Improving Immune System
– advances aging is one indicator of likely immune dysfunction. The medical researchers have yet to identify the exact cause for the decline of immune systems in the elderlies. However they have concluded that through aging one doesn’t respond as well to vaccines, more likely to get sick, and recover from injuries, infection, and illness more slowly. Acupuncture helps to enhance immunity by revitalizing the entire internal function. It is like rebooting the computer which crushes down due to overload of programs. Our immunity does not work alone, it is an intrinsic network that connects with our internal function.
Helps recovery from stroke
– The American Stroke Association (ASA) notes that stroke is the fourth leading cause of death in the U.S. It is among the top leading causes of disability and reduced quality of life. Many studies have supported that acupuncture is a safe and effective way to help with stroke recovery especially when administered in the early stage.
David Ta-Jen Lin, EAMP
Owner/Director of 1st Choice Acupuncture & Integrative Medicine