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Acupuncture Boosts Effectiveness of Standard Medical Care for Chronic Pain, Depression

A new study confirms that a centuries-old form of healing — acupuncture — boosts effectiveness of standard medical care for chronic pain and depression. As reported by Science Daily, acupuncture not only “significantly” impacted pain reduction in the study, but is cost-effective.

With more than 3 million Americans receiving acupuncture each year, and its use increasing, the health benefits of acupuncture can no longer be ignored. Acupuncture downregulates (or turns off) pro-inflammatory cells known as M1 macrophages and upregulates (or activates) anti-inflammatory M2 macrophages, thereby reducing pain and swelling.

The mechanics are simple: Acupuncture involves penetrating your skin with a thin needle at certain points on your body. The needle is then stimulated by hand or electrically. With documented use dating back more than 2,500 years, acupuncture is based on the premise that there are more than 2,000 acupuncture points in the human body, which are connected by bioenergetic pathways known as meridians.

Used for chronic pain for centuries, it’s also been shown to relieve high blood pressure as well as serve as an adjunct to cancer treatment, allergic rhinitis, depression and a range of other illnesses. While the term acupuncture is often used to describe a variety of puncture methods, a different form without needles is called the Emotional Freedom Techniques, or EFT, which may also help relieve pain.

EFT is a form of psychological acupressure, based on the same energy meridians used in traditional acupuncture to treat physical and emotional ailments for over 5,000 years, but without the invasiveness of needles.
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