People are usually pleasantly surprised to learn that indeed acupuncture with Chinese herbal medicine is a very effective modality for anemia. These alternative medicine treatments have been performed for thousands of years to treat the symptoms of anemia, such as pale complexion, weakness and tiredness. In western medicine, anemia is the most common disorder of the blood and it can cause shortness of breath and palpitations if the anemia is severe enough.
Recent studies have verified that acupuncture can enhance the levels of the serum ferratin. Those who conducted these studies utilized just one acupoint called zu san li, which in Chinese roughly translates to three leg mile. This specific point has been historically used as an acupoint to boost body strength in such an incredible way that an individual could walk three miles more at the end of a day of walking. This unique acupuncture point, according to traditional Chinese medicine (TCM), is associated with the function of the spleen.
According to TCM, the stomach takes in the food while the spleen processes the food. The needling of specific acupoints can bolster nutrients that can enhance iron absorption. The stimulation of the three leg mile acupoint can also resolve shortness of breath, palpitations, paleness and tiredness - all symptoms corresponding to anemia.
When a person suffers from anemia, it is also logical that his or her diet needs to be addressed. In this regard, acupuncture can be the catalyst to enhance the digestive function and absorption of food. Acupuncture isn’t merely about the needling of the leg or other parts of the body. The body has certain sensitive pressure areas and anatomical locations that a licensed acupuncturist finds prior to inserting the needles. The needles used for treatment can vary in thickness and length based on the kind of effect the acupuncturist desires to attain.
After a needle is inserted, the acupuncture practitioner may use certain techniques to stimulate the body. She can twist the needle in certain directions or lift it up and down. The aforementioned studies entailed the use of certain needling techniques such as lift and thrust techniques that help stimulate the vital energy of the acupoint to increase its strengthening ability.
Patients usually experience constipation and stomach problems when they take iron supplements. Furthermore, the root problem of their anemia needs to be considered for patients to gain longer lasting balance and health. Chinese herbal medicine and acupuncture are effective in treating the symptoms of anemia and boosting nutrient absorption.
Dr. Jeda Boughton is a Doctor of Traditional Chinese Medicine and Registered Acupuncturist in Vancouver. She is also a Registered Herbologist and the founder of BodaHealth.