Oakland Spine News

Does Acupuncture Improve Immunity?

Most people not familiar with the intricacies of arthritis assume it is all about the joints. You may know that there are two basic types: osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis (RA). Maybe you even know lupus is often lumped in with arthritis, and all three seem to be associated with joint pain and malformation, including fingers, knees, hips, shoulders and elbows.

But did you know that some people have arthritis in their eyes, mouths and in their chests, a source of pain during the process of breathing? That’s because arthritis and lupus can attack and weaken the immune system and are therefore known as autoimmune diseases.

There is a wealth of anecdotal evidence, attested to by millions of patients and their physicians, that acupuncture is effective in relieving arthritis pain as attested to by millions of patients and their physicians.

Mainstream medicine and some of our most respected rheumatologists have come to accept and respect acupuncture as an effective treatment for easing arthritis pain. Additionally, an estimated 10 million-plus acupuncture treatments in the United States for arthritis pain alone continues to link this ancient treatment modality to the immune system.

Modern medicine tends to shrug off anecdotal evidence because it supposedly lacks vigorous scientific analysis. However, the heart and soul of this healing treatment are the millions of Americans convinced that it works, returning again and again to seek relief from those expertly manipulated ultra-thin needles.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) tells us that almost a fourth of adults in the United States (54 million) have arthritis and about 45 percent of that number have to restrict their activities due to arthritis pain or impaired mobility.

Inflammation Spreads from Joints

With autoimmune rheumatoid arthritis and lupus, for example, the inflammation spreads from the joints. Aside from painful and deformed joints and restricted range of motion, symptoms may include weight loss, fatigue, anemia, itchy and dry eyes, pleurisy (inflammation of the lining of the lungs), dry mouth, sleep deprivation and more.

Succinctly stated, autoimmune diseases turn the body’s immune system against itself, attacking normal cells and, in the case of RA, the lining of your joints to intensify pain and inhibit mobility.

The most sobering aspects of autoimmune disease is that it is a leading cause of disability and death, again according to the CDC.

Adherents of acupuncture have long maintained that it strengthens the immune system, as well as fighting off bacteria, viruses and other invaders. A study in Evidence-Based and Complementary Medicine, as reported in the National Institutes of Health’s U.S. National Library of Medicine, reported in August 2015 what many suffering from autoimmune disease have discovered from acupuncture therapy:

Acupoints selection, combination of the acupoints, or different methods of stimulation of acupuncture may result in quite different effects on immune system. Further research is urgently essential to elucidate the relation between acupuncture and immune responses and what kind of stimulation might induce the best effect.

—Call us today at (201) 651-9100 for an appointment at Oakland Spine & Physical Therapy.