Acupuncture for Inflammation

Did You Know…that new research shows physical evidence of acupuncture’s value beyond any that has been demonstrated before—especially for inflammation?

When acupuncture first caught on in the West, it was met with great skepticism, which persists to this day.  But the truth is that scientists have produced real evidence that acupuncture offers tangible benefits for many health conditions, even deadly ones.  According to an extraordinary new study published in the journal Nature Medicine, electroacupuncture may reduce inflammation that causes death from sepsis—a major threat in hospital settings.

This research was conducted by Luis Ulloa of Rutgers New Jersey Medical School, and according to Science Daily, the findings show “physical evidence of acupuncture’s value beyond any that has been demonstrated before.”  According to the study, acupuncture for inflammation also holds potential benefits for inflammatory conditions other than sepsis, including rheumatoid arthritis, osteoarthritis, and Crohn’s disease.

The Deadliest Secret in Hospitals

Sepsis is a condition that often develops in hospital intensive care units.  It starts from infection and inflammation—and about 250,000 people die from it in the United States every year.

“Sepsis is the major cause of death in the hospital,” says immunologist Luis Ulloa, who led the study at Rutgers.  “But in many cases patients don’t die because of the infection.  They die because of the inflammatory disorder they develop after the infection.  So we hoped to study how to control the inflammatory disorder.”

Ulloa’s research suggests acupuncture may hold the key to controlling inflammation and in turn, saving lives.

Calming the Nerve That Causes Inflammation 

Ulloa’s team was aware that when you stimulate one of the body’s major nerves, the vagus nerve, inflammation is triggered.  Thus, they examined a form of acupuncture for inflammation that sends a small electric current through the vagus nerve.

     When electroacupuncture was applied to mice with sepsis, the process stimulated helpful molecules called cytokines that help limit inflammation.  As a result, half of those mice survived for at least a week—while none of the mice who did not receive acupuncture survived.

“I don’t even know whether in the future the best solution for sepsis will be electroacupuncture or some medicine that will mimic electroacupuncture,” Ulloa concludes.  But either way, Ulloa believes that his research has laid the foundation for an effective treatment.

Acupuncture for Every Day Pain and Inflammation 

Many previous studies have provided consistent evidence that acupuncture can help patients with chronic pain.  Perhaps these benefits are also related to acupuncture’s ability to quell inflammation.  Overall, acupuncture has shown to be beneficial for pain from numerous conditions including…

  • Low back problems
  • Osteoarthritis
  • Fibromyalgia
  • Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
  • Headaches

Acupuncture practitioners are licensed, trained professionals.  Often, acupuncture can even be covered by traditional insurance policies—but you should, of course, verify your own coverage before scheduling any appointments.

Everyone’s response to acupuncture is unique—but in general, people report a sense of relaxation and well-being during the treatment (which, for most people, is painless in spite of the fact that it involves needles).