Acupuncture for Preventative Care 

 June 23, 2023

By  Steve Hoffman

So much of Western medicine seems reactive: a patient comes in with a complaint, a pain, an issue, and then tests are run. Suggestions are given. Treatments are offered. But all these effects are in response to an issue. What if we explored health from a different perspective, from the basis of preventing issues before they arise? Preventative care isn't a new idea; it often includes a healthy diet, regular physical activity, and wellness checkups at a medical doctor's office.

There is another way to look at preventative care that can be used side-by-side with Western recommendations. Acupuncture as preventive health care. Unlike medicines or procedures like surgery, acupuncture isn't done solely in response to health concerns. Acupuncture can be used as a diagnostic tool and performed regularly to maintain wellness and health.

How Do We Stay Healthy with Acupuncture?

One of the most significant benefits of regular acupuncture treatment is the enhancement and support of the body's immune system. Because acupuncture works with the body's healing energy, checking and adjusting the flow of that energy, it can both detect and address issues before they become pernicious.

By strengthening the immune system, acupuncture helps the body to ward off minor ailments: colds, infections, and the like. And, by avoiding these small issues, the body has all its resources available to address more significant issues if they arise.

The Mind / Body Connection

When we talk about well-being, it's easy to overlook the brain. Emotions and feelings aren’t vital signs physicians typically monitor, yet they directly impact our bodily health. Whether stress, anxiety, or depression, each has its associated physical effects. Stressed-out people grind their teeth, have poor digestion, don't sleep well, or have trouble focusing.

Sometimes, people with anxiety may be emotionally paralyzed at the prospect of performing seemingly simple life tasks. Additionally, depression can lead to withdrawal from loved ones and even self-harm. And while a Western medical practitioner seeing these symptoms will most likely provide a referral to a psychiatrist, a trained acupuncturist can begin to address these issues immediately.

An Ounce of Prevention

If we consider ourselves healthy, we generally wish to stay that way. How we accomplish this goal will vary from person to person. But in no scenario does “staying healthy” involves doing nothing. Health doesn't arise from self-neglect. Some people might rely on their own senses to detect an issue, the old “I’ll go to the doctor if something hurts” crowd. But by that point, when symptoms become overt, significant treatment and interference may be necessary.

No, staying healthy is an active choice. It means a commitment to a balanced lifestyle, a willingness to meet your body's needs, and a focus on prevention and early detection of issues. In fact, regular appointments with an acupuncturist can be the missing link in a wellness journey. Acupuncture can also be utilized as a treatment during nearly any other medical condition or process: there are almost no worrying interactions between acupuncture and medications. Ultimately, acupuncture is safe, having been studied for thousands of years. In fact, acupuncture provides results, as shown in numerous studies.

But acupuncture isn't simply to prevent new issues. It can also work to address chronic or relapsing conditions, whether emotionally or physically. Preventative care with acupuncture can mean the difference between creating a strategic plan to address the issue and reacting without consideration due to the situation's urgency.

The Future of Acupuncture for Preventative Wellness

However, there is still much to be studied about using acupuncture as a preventive wellness plan. In Taiwan in 2021, a study was done comparing patients with rheumatoid arthritis who were treated with Acupuncture and those who were not. As expected, acupuncture reduced the pain in the treated RA patients. More interesting, however, was this: patients who had been treated with acupuncture had significantly lower future susceptibility to type two diabetes. 

Why this effect emerged is unclear, but it suggests that we have not yet plumbed all the benefits acupuncture can offer! Imagine a future where regular acupuncture appointments could stave off common diseases like dementia, PTSD, or cancer. This may yet come to pass, all thanks to a thousand-year-old treatment modality still being practiced worldwide- Acupuncture.

Princeton Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine

Our patients know just how effective treatments are for these and a host of other problems. Steven Hoffman, a New Jersey Licensed Acupuncturist and Diplomate in Oriental Medicine, will provide you with a thorough intake and evaluation and a clear, comprehensive diagnosis and treatment plan that will insure that your goals are met or exceeded. Do you want to move past these or other problems? We will help you thrive not just survive!

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