Nowadays, people are commonly seeking ways to reduce levels of pain and discomfort. Unfortunately, this is occurring more often than not. For those experiencing chronic pain, acupuncture is available as a form of treatment for a variety of physical and mental conditions.
While it’s been shown to be effective when used alone, we’re eager to explore the benefits of acupuncture in combination with the current wellness craze – CBD. Can these two assist one another in terms of pain relief? This article will help to guide your use of CBD and acupuncture for some potentially miraculous holistic healing.
What is Acupuncture?
The term acupuncture originated from the late 17th century Latin word ‘acu’, translating to ‘with a needle’ in English, plus puncture. It is identified as a system of complementary medicine in which fine needles are inserted into the skin. Where they’re inserted is determined by specific points in the body that are considered to be lines of energy.
Acupuncture is known as a part of the ancient practice of traditional Chinese medicine, where practitioners believe there are more than 2,000 acupuncture points in the body connected by pathways or meridians. Energy is said to flow through these pathways, responsible for overall health. If the energy flow is disrupted, this can cause disease or illness. Therefore, the minimally invasive method of applying acupuncture to certain areas of the body is thought to improve health.
According to Paul Kempisty, a licensed acupuncturist with an MS in traditional Oriental medicine, “each acupuncture needle produces a tiny injury at the insertion site, and even though it’s light enough to lead to little to no discomfort, it’s enough of a signal to let the body know it needs to respond. This response includes stimulation of the immune system, promoting circulation to the area, wound healing and paid modulation”.
How Does Acupuncture Work?
It’s believed that acupuncture affects the body by stimulating the central nervous system, which subsequently releases chemicals into the muscles, spinal cord, and brain. The body’s natural healing abilities are then aroused by these biochemical changes, promoting physical and emotional wellbeing.
Numerous studies by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) suggest that acupuncture can be effective for the following:
- Carpal tunnel syndrome;
- Low back pain;
- Menstrual cramps;
- Myofascial pain;
- Nausea (caused by cancer chemotherapy and surgical anaesthesia);
- Post-surgery dental pain;
- Stroke rehabilitation;
- Tennis elbow.
Although it may not work for everyone, there’s a possibility for acupuncture to benefit digestive, emotional, eye-ear-throat, gynaecological, miscellaneous, musculoskeletal, neurological, and respiratory conditions.
What to Expect from an Acupuncture Session
Used as a form of an alternative natural solution, the acupuncture practice involves penetrating the skin with hair-thin, solid, metal needles, which are then activated through gentle yet precise movements from either a practitioner’s hands or electric stimulation. The needles are inserted to a point in the body where they can produce sensations of pressure or an ache. Sometimes needles are heated, or a mild electric current may be applied to them.
Acupuncture sessions are designed to make people feel energized, relaxed, happy, and content. On the whole, most people report feeling minimal pain during the process with relatively few complications. However, improper placement of the needle may trigger pain and serious adverse effects.
That’s why it’s so important to receive treatment from a qualified acupuncture practitioner who has valid credentials. This will also ensure that needles are sterilized to prevent infection. The United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) regulates acupuncture needles under good manufacturing practices and single-use standards of sterility.
Other forms of stimulation can be used instead of needles, including friction, heat (moxibustion), impulses of electromagnetic energy, pressure (acupressure), and suction (cupping). Acupuncture sessions can last anywhere from 60 to 90 minutes, yet the actual treatment is likely to be half an hour long.
CBD in Chinese Medicine
Cannabidiol, or CBD, is growing by the minute in terms of its popularity as a potential health aid. Similar to acupuncture, hemp is used in traditional Chinese medicine, believed to have been cultivated in China for 6,000 years.
It is typically obtained from the cannabis Sativa plant, and the hemp seeds are regularly used in medicine today due to having laxative properties. There are also higher concentrations of CBD and tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the psychoactive element of cannabis, in the flowers compared to the roots and leaves.
The Chinese Emperor, Shen Nung, considered to be the father of Chinese medicine, was the first to describe CBD as one of 50 fundamental healing herbs in a historical Chinese publication.
CBD and Acupuncture
Emerging studies are showing that CBD and acupuncture can work very well together, especially as both of them aim to balance the body. CBD can do this by allowing our bodies to maintain a state of homeostasis, which is the condition of optimal functioning for the endocannabinoid system. Like CBD, acupuncture may also mimic or stimulate the body’s natural endocannabinoid activity.
CBD and acupuncture release the same chemical known as adenosine; CBD increases adenosine to fight inflammation which may cause pain, and acupuncture can increase the body’s capacity to tolerate pain. When used together, CBD and acupuncture may boost the endocannabinoid system to help combat disease and fight not just physical pain but mental problems, anaesthesia, seizures, and spasms. Research is limited, however, so scientists are continuing to study whether there’s a direct and effective connection between meridians and the endocannabinoid system.
Acupuncture is likely to benefit from aftercare at home, which CBD could be ideal for, particularly CBD topical creams and lotions that may ease the skin after acupuncture treatment. Or, even better, soothing CBD tea or CBD gummies from Naturecan. While both CBD and acupuncture are generally considered safe when used properly and your friends and family may be good sources of referrals, be sure to discuss any concerns you may have with your doctor before use.
Some interesting connections are being found between acupuncture and CBD. There’s no universal response to either, and their beneficial effects are still being examined but, so far, they appear to be reasonable options for people with chronic pain to consider. Your mood, mental and physical health, as well as general wellbeing, could all be improved.
We’re looking forward to following the upcoming research and further integration of CBD into traditional Chinese medicine and acupuncture practices. For those of you wanting to achieve distinct balance or provide harmonious relief for ailments, CBD could add that extra touch of holistic healing, amplifying your acupuncture practice to the next level!
Valentina Soldatkina is a freelance copywriter whose writing primarily focuses on CBD, health, wellness, beauty, traveling, and food. When she is not writing, Valya spends most of her time taking care of her dog, reading, cooking, or catching up with her friends and family members.”