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It’s been a busy time for acupuncture in the news, as new research and guidelines have given more backing and evidence to support this ancient Chinese practice.

Acupuncture has so much potential to help a huge variety of conditions and, perhaps more importantly, can support your body to stay healthy and prevent issues occurring in the first place. So let’s take a look at the new reports that demonstrate the power of acupuncture.

Bacterial infections

New research by Harvard Medical School has confirmed what we at Anahata have known for some time – that acupuncture can help the body to fight bacterial infections. The recent study showed that acupuncture supports the body’s defences to toxins, and increased survival rates from 20% to 60%. Acupuncture also helps to prevent “cytokine storms” – a reaction of the immune system when faced with particularly large infections which can overwhelm internal systems and cause organ failure (sometimes a feature of COVID-19).

Perhaps more importantly, the research highlighted the significant improvement that acupuncture can make to the immune system in advance of an infection. When animals had been given acupuncture treatments prior to infection, survival rates increased from 20% to 80%, and those that had not received acupuncture experienced greater complications from the disease.

Acupuncturists have known for millennia that certain points on the body help to activate certain elements of the body’s natural systems, and this study confirms that traditional acupuncture supports immune responses and reduces inflammation:

The researchers note that their findings indicate some level of support for traditional Chinese medicine principles. They note that the driving of specific somatosensory autonomic pathways by specific acupuncture points (which also varies according to the level of stimulation) has the potential to confirm the “neuroanatomical basis for the linking from somatic tissue stimulation to the modulation of internal organ physiology,” which is one foundation of traditional Chinese medicine acupuncture channel and acupoint theory.

In other words, they accept that acupuncturists have been right all along!

Better than drugs

When it comes to chronic pain, draft clinical guidelines by NICE have warned that a number of commonly prescribed drug treatments are not likely to be effective and should not be prescribed. Instead, they recommend a more holistic approach and suggest acupuncture as a more effective and powerful treatment.

At Anahata, we are strong advocates of a holistic approach to wellness, and we are pleased to see these guidelines highlighting the importance of good communication between healthcare professionals and their patients, as well as how vital it is that clinicians understand how pain is impacting the person’s life as a whole.

This move away from drug treatments towards acupuncture here in the UK is echoed by the CMS’ decision in the US to cover acupuncture for lower back pain. This means that older American patients eligible for Medicare can now have acupuncture treatments paid for by the government. This follows studies that have shown acupuncture helped to improve pain and function in patients with chronic lower back pain, and reduced the use of opioids. In one study, 32% of patients who had been taking opioids for chronic pain cut back on the drugs after receiving acupuncture treatment.

We hope that these learnings and developments in the US will encourage NICE to revert back to recommending acupuncture for back pain, as they had done for many years.

Taking care of your wellbeing

All of these recent reports agree that acupuncture helps to reduce inflammation, which reduces pain and helps the body fight infection. Those findings can help you to feel confident that acupuncture can help you with a wide range of complaints.

Moreover, making acupuncture a regular part of your wellbeing routine can protect you against a variety of illnesses, helping you to stay well and not need further treatment.

If you want to know if acupuncture can help you with a particular issue, or you want to learn more about protecting yourself from ill-health, call us on 01273 698 687.