Autoimmune diseases are conditions in which a person's body begins to attack itself. They vary as to which systems are affected, but in general, they are inflammatory conditions in which the body's defenses are confused and misidentify its own cells as foreign and attack them.
Here are just a few autoimmune diseases:
• Rheumatoid arthritis
• Hashimoto's thyroiditis
Current Mainstream Treatments for Autoimmune Diseases
Often, autoimmune conditions are treated by giving the patient strong medications that decrease the immune system's activity. This can help improve the disease's symptoms, but it can also cause a plethora of unwanted side effects, some of which can be serious, like kidney failure. This type of treatment is that it doesn't address the inciting cause of the condition; it only treats the result, which is an overactive immune system that is attacking the body's own cells.
Another problem with treating autoimmune diseases is the tightrope act of suppressing the immune system enough to relieve the symptoms of the condition while not disabling it enough to make the person susceptible to other infections and illnesses. Because of this, many autoimmune disease treatments focus on symptom control only so that the patient might receive multiple different drugs for pain, sleep problems, appetite issues, etc. All of those drugs may produce troublesome or dangerous side effects.
Acupuncture Can Address the Causes of Autoimmune Diseases
There are other ways to treat autoimmune diseases besides strong anti-inflammatory drugs. One of these effective treatments is acupuncture.
Acupuncture originated in China thousands of years ago, and it's the practice of using thin needles to stimulate various points in the body, affecting the energy flow, or Qi (chi). The blocking of these various energy channels throughout the body can create different illnesses and conditions, according to acupuncture practitioners, and unblocking these channels can lead to a reversal of the disease process. Autoimmune diseases are among those that may be improved by acupuncture.
Other Ways Acupuncture Can Help Treat Autoimmune Diseases
Acupuncture can also be used to treat the symptoms of autoimmune diseases, such as pain, muscle fatigue, nausea, and sleep problems without unwanted side effects. Decreasing these symptoms without creating others can lead to a person's ability to exercise more, eat better, and reap the benefits of improved sleep, all of which will increase their quality of life.
Regularly receiving acupuncture can lower stress and improve a person's overall outlook. When a person is suffering from an illness, anything that decreases stress can improve their situation and may also actually increase the strength of the immune system itself.
Acupuncture needles cause a physical increase in a person's immune system function just by creating multiple tiny injuries that the body will respond to as it would any injury or illness. Strengthening the properly working immune system can help fight against its malfunctioning, the result of which is improvement of the autoimmune disease.
Acupuncture Can Be a Powerful Tool Against Autoimmune Diseases
As you can see, acupuncture fights against autoimmune diseases on several fronts: by fighting its symptoms, beefing up the person's normal immune responses, and decreasing the stress and anxiety that can lead to more inflammation and worsening quality of life.