Acupuncture is an ancient healing system originating from China more than 2,500 years ago. For centuries acupuncture has been used to treat a wide range of health conditions such as back, hip, shoulder and knee pain, headaches and migraines, sleep disorders, digestive issues, arthritis and even fertility, to name but a few. Further research has also shown that acupuncture therapy can also help with various skin conditions such as eczema, psoriasis and acne.
It can seem very strange to think that just by sticking a few needles in the body that a person can get well from their ailments. However, acupuncture is not as simple as that. Acupuncture is a rather complex medical system that takes a practitioner a long time to learn and understand in order to get them to the point where they can treat health conditions effectively. However, when applied by a competent and experienced acupuncturist, it can bring about considerable healing effects for the recipient.
So, if you’re reading this then you’re probably most interested in how acupuncture may be able to help clear up acne. Read on to find out!
How does acupuncture work?
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Acupuncture works by inserting very fine needles into specific points on the body in order to simulate the bodies own healing response. Research has shown that when specific acupoints are activated through correct needling it can stimulate the production of chemicals, help to rebalance hormones, reduce inflammation and bring about an overall sense of well-being.
Research has also shown that acupuncture with the inclusion of moxibustion is not only safe but can be very effective in helping to treat acne.
How acupuncture can help treat acne
The way acupuncture works to help treat acne is thought to be primarily due to the following:
- Calming inflammation
- Promoting the bodies natural killer cells to help fight infection
- Improving circulation
There have been numerous studies conducted on acupuncture treatment for acne in China (however, very few outside of China), that have shown the treatment method to be very effective for the condition. For example, a randomized control trial showed that acupuncture therapy caused a reduction in inflammation in people who were suffering from a moderate affliction of acne vulgaris. Another study also showed that the use of moxibustion with acupuncture treatment produced similar effects achieved in the treatment of acne by using the commonly used acne drug, isotretinoin.
For more info, please take a look at this article.
Here’s an interesting story on how acupuncture helped to cure a woman’s acne.
So, what is moxibustion?
Moxibustion is a technique commonly used in Chinese medicine and often in association with acupuncture treatment. Moxibustion is a heat producing technique that helps to warm the body. Acupuncturists and Chinese medicine practitioners believe that using moxibustion also helps to nourish the body, stimulate the production and movement of blood and make the effects of acupuncture more potent in some instances. When used with acupuncture, Moxa is either attached to the ends of needles and lit to create a heating effect. Moxa is also used in a cigar roll and held above specific areas of the body in order to produce the desired effect.
Moxa is derived from a herb called Mugwort. When the Mugwort is processed in a particular way it becomes moxa. There are different grades of moxa in order to produce different intensities of heat.
Acne and internal health
In Chinese medicine theory, acne is viewed as damp and heat inside the body trying to come out. The damp heat can be caused by numerous factors such as hormonal imbalances, pollution entering the body, bad dietary choices or the person eating foods that they are unable to tolerate efficiently and so forth.
When acupuncture treatment is used for acne the therapist will try to determine the causes and aggravating factors of the condition specific to the person. If there is a hormonal imbalance then acupuncture points to help balance the hormones will be used. However, when acne is present then there will also be the presence of damp heat inside the body to the acupuncturist will select acupoints that help the body more efficiently cope with the damp heat in the body and therefore, eliminate it.
If the person is also eating foods that produce damp and heat in the body then the practitioner will usually also advise on foods they should be cutting out and which foods they should be eating in order to help clear the acne up.