Acupuncture can help more than just pain relief. Read more below on how it can help reduce inflammation and improve heart health.
Acupuncture and Heart Health, Let’s see what the research says
Acupuncture is commonly known for its ability to treat chronic pain. But what about other conditions like heart health?
Acupuncture may improve heart health
A study published by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) looked at the prevalence of acute myocardial infarction, or heart attacks, on participants that received acupuncture treatments compared with those who did not. The group of participants that were selected to receive acupuncture went through at least one acupuncture treatment course (six sessions). The results showed those receiving the acupuncture treatment series were less likely to experience a heart attack. And the more treatment sessions, the less likely a heart attack would occur. This study shows regular acupuncture treatments can indeed be helpful at preventing heart attacks.
What about that! Not too many treatments can have such a positive effect on the body, without negative side effects!
How does acupuncture work to improve heart health?
There is surprisingly a lot of research being done on this specific topic. One of the hypothesized theories is related to how acupuncture can turn on the parasympathetic nervous system. That is the system that is turned on when we go to sleep. When that system is turned on, our body relaxes, repairs, and rejuvenates from the day. It takes us out of the stressed-“go-go-go” flight or fight response we are in all day to RELAX!
So, in essence acupuncture works to help us relax, decrease stress, and promote less cortisol response.
How does Chinese Medicine view heart health, expained
Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), just like Western medicine, believes the heart is responsible for the circulation of blood. When the heart is strong, circulation will be sufficient, the body will be well nourished and the pulse will reflect that by being full and regular. Both medical systems agree a weak heart can manifest as palpitations, chest pain and even heart disease or a heart attack. Where the two medical systems diverge is this: Traditional Chinese Medicine also acknowledges that the heart “houses the mind.”
In TCM, the heart and the mind are virtually inseparable. The heart governs the ability to think clearly, sleep soundly and maintain a good memory. Our emotional state is strongly influenced by how healthy or unhealthy our heart may be. A weak and deficient heart may create feelings of anxiety and mania, while also contributing to insomnia, forgetfulness and lack of concentration. Conversely, a weak mind or uncontrolled emotions can lead to a sick heart.
A calm mind, leads to a calm heart.
Why is this so important for heart health?
Regular acupuncture treatments have been found to be very helpful in lowering blood pressure. The needles stimulate the release of opioids, which then decrease the heart’s activity and its need for oxygen. This in turn helps lower blood pressure. Acupuncture also decreases the resting heart rate and blood pressure by helping to decrease stress levels.
Stress less is the key!
Chronic stress can lead to heart disease, high blood pressure, heart arrhythmias and even heart attacks. Numerous studies have shown that stress can be managed through the use of acupuncture.
Poor sleep and insomnia have been linked to heart failure, heart attacks, high blood pressure and strokes too. Acupuncture can help treat a wide array of sleep problems without the harsh side effects of many pharmaceuticals. When a person is rested, their heart will generally be healthier.
Without a healthy heart, the body cannot function properly and the mind may be clouded and disconnected.
Give us a call today (425) 686-4498 to learn how we can help all of your heart health needs!
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Dr. Ellie Heintze, ND, LAc, is a naturopathic doctor and acupuncturist in Bothell, WA at her practice Starting Point Acupuncture. She is a pain specialist, seeing people who suffer from chronic pain, migraines, as well as digestive issues. Offering pain relief injections, acupuncture, facial rejuvenation, and nutrition consults. Most insurances accepted. Dr. Ellie Heintze is also the author of the book, A Starting Point Guide to Going Gluten-Free on Amazon.
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Dr. Ellie Heintze, ND, LAc
- Master’s Degree in Acupuncture
- Doctorate in Naturopathic Medicine
- Master’s Degree in Chemistry
Northern Arizona University
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