As people get older, they often experience certain physical changes, some of which can promote chronic discomfort, illness, and loss of function. Unfortunately, some of the treatment options Western medicine offers, such as drug therapy, can introduce additional concerns or complications.
If you struggle with age-related health complaints, understand how the branch of Chinese Medicine known as acupuncture can help you feel better and optimize your wellness for many years to come. Consider the following four advantages and benefits of acupuncture for seniors.
1. Acupuncture Can Ease Arthritis Pain and Inflammation
Before you turn to prescription or non-prescription painkillers for temporary relief from your arthritis pain, give acupuncture a chance to relieve your symptoms without drugs. This technique can reduce inflammation and relieve the pain associated with many (though not all) forms of age-related arthritis.
When you undergo acupuncture treatment for arthritis, your acupuncturist will most likely insert the needles at specific points on your arms, legs, or shoulders in alignment with energy lines called meridians. You can undergo this form of treatment on an ongoing basis as necessary to keep your symptoms under control.
2. Acupuncture Can Help Seniors Manage Mood Disorders
Seniors often develop problems with mood disorders such as depression and anxiety. These problems may stem from the constant struggle against pain or debilitating physical changes, but they may also occur because of issues such as the loss of loved ones, a move to a nursing home, and fear of impending death.
Acupuncture can help seniors enjoy greater emotional stability while potentially reducing their reliance on drugs such as antidepressants or anti-anxiety medications. In addition to its ability to relieve the pain associated with anxiety and depression, this technique can relax patients and boost levels of feel-good hormones called endorphins.
Acupuncture patients experience more than just the needling process itself. Acupuncturists take the time to get to know their patients, talk to them about their needs and fears, and customize their treatment plans. This caring, personalized approach can help seniors express and process some of their depressive or anxious feelings.
3. Acupuncture Helps Bodies That Are Older Function Better
Bodies that are older don’t just develop aches and pains — they also experience functional problems for a variety of reasons. Age-related eye disorders can reduce vision, while a stroke may impair balance and coordination. Joint conditions such as arthritis reduce range of motion. Digestive complaints may affect diet and nutrition.
Acupuncture can help with these and other functional ailments. For example, cataracts, central retinitis myopia, and other age-related eye problems have responded to acupuncture treatment. By helping the body balance and redistribute its Qi (life energy), acupuncture can help your various systems operate more normally.
Cancer risks rise as people grow older. Although you shouldn’t necessarily choose acupuncture as your only response to cancer, the addition of acupuncture to your treatment regimen can prove helpful. The endorphins and serotonin from needling can reduce your symptoms or help you endure chemotherapy.
4. Acupuncture Poses No Unusual Risks for Patients Who Are Elderly
If you’ve assumed that acupuncture might prove unsafe for seniors, think again. This ancient healing technique enjoys an enviable safety record among those who receive it, including patients who are older who stand to benefit greatly from it.
A study of patients who are older and suffering from various age-related complaints found that none of the participants suffered any undesirable side effects or complications from their acupuncture treatments. The study concluded by pronouncing acupuncture both safe and effective for seniors as a supplement to other treatment methods.
Acupuncture & Holistic Health Associates can answer all your questions about acupuncture’s ability to help you age more gracefully and comfortably. Contact our office today to set up an initial appointment.