7 Reasons Men Should Do Acupuncture

Alternative treatments have strong opposers and faithful followers.

Each one has their reasons, but the truth is that complementary and conventional medicine have something in common.

In both, you need to know when is the right moment to use them.

Among different complementary medicine practices, acupuncture is one of the most widely acclaimed. It has many functions, and both men and women can benefit significantly from its application.

In this article, we’re going through acupuncture and how it is an excellent tool for males of different ages. 

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What is acupuncture?

Acupuncture is a millenary technique that comes from traditional Chinese medicine. It basically consists of needle insertion in different parts of the skin to trigger a reaction in inner organs.

There are various methods, and some of them include new technology besides acupuncture needles.

People commonly use acupuncture in combination with herbs, massage, and moxibustion. The latter is the application of heat in acupuncture points and helps to bring harmony to the energy of the body.

An acupuncture treatment session usually lasts no more than one hour. During that time, you will be left with needles put in place for around 30 minutes.

This technique has proven effective in relieving chronic pain, reducing stress, chronic disease symptoms, and improving other mental health parameters (1). 

How does acupuncture work?

According to Chinese medicine, there are over 2,000 acupuncture points all over the body. They are connected by meridians, which are pathways of energy flowing through.

The process of disease starts when the energy flow is turbulent or becomes disrupted.

According to acupuncturist specialists, acupuncture works by stimulating these acupoints and reestablishing the normal energy flow.

The needles can be placed in different parts of the body, and there’s also facial acupuncture and auricular acupuncture (2).

Above is the explanation by acupuncture as a millenary tradition. More recently, scientific studies have also proposed a neurophysiologic response to acupuncture.

According to modern scientists, acupuncture stimulates the central nervous system and blood flow. In addition, it helps neurons release neurotransmitters in the brain and the spinal cord (3).

Regardless of the exact mechanism, acupuncture benefits can be helpful for healthy patients and those with chronic diseases.

There are also cosmetic acupuncture applications for men and women.

7 acupuncture benefits for men

In many cases, men aren’t as likely to look for medical help as women.

As a result, they may also disregard acupuncture as an option. But that’s probably because they are not aware of the acupuncture benefits for men. 

Here’s a list of 7 reasons why men can find significant benefit from acupuncture:

1) Acupuncture can relieve sports injuries and speed up rehabilitation

One of the most widely acclaimed benefits of acupuncture has to do with pain relief. Joint pain and sports injuries are common among active and young men, and acupuncture can help them.

It is a minimally invasive procedure; it is safe and may facilitate physical therapy and speed up recovery.

However, it is essential to note that acupuncture can only be applied after medical treatment has stabilized sports injuries, especially fractures and severe lesions (4).

2) Acupuncture may help in reversible causes of erectile dysfunction

Clinical trials are insufficient, but some patients have had excellent results with acupuncture.

This is probably because erectile dysfunction is related to stress, and acupuncture can help you cope with stress. This only works in psychogenic erectile dysfunction.

According to successful studies, acupuncture and psychotherapy work better for ED than psychotherapy alone.

Thus, if you want to recover your erectile function, you might also need medical therapy and counseling (5).

3) Acupuncture may reduce prostate symptoms in BPH and prostate cancer

Another aspect of men’s health is their prostate, especially in seniors.

An enlarged prostate causes urinary symptoms such as waking up several times at night to urinate, a slow urinary stream, and more.

All of these symptoms are measured on a scale known as International Prostate Symptom Score (IPSS).

A recent systematic review and meta-analysis show that men could significantly reduce their IPSS score after 4-6 weeks of acupuncture.

The positive effect is mainly short-term and markedly greater than sham acupuncture (simulated acupuncture) (6).

4) Acupuncture can help patients with burnout syndrome at work

Burnout syndrome is more common in people who work many hours a day in a stressful environment.

This is a common problem in men, and it is usually not reported because it is regarded as a sign of weakness of character.

But this type of intense stress ultimately affects their cognitive function, emotions, and overall health.

Recent studies on burnout syndrome show that both needle acupuncture and laser acupuncture can reduce the symptoms and parameters of these patients (7).

5) Acupuncture tends to improve insomnia and other sleep problems

It is common to feel relaxed after an acupuncture treatment. The acupuncture needles can be placed in different areas, and some of them trigger relaxation and calmness.

By reducing stress and anxiety in males, acupuncture could be helpful to counter sleeplessness and insomnia.

Studies also suggest that acupuncture may modulate important neurotransmitters for sleep, such as melatonin, beta-endorphin, and norepinephrine (8).

6) Acupuncture could relieve cluster headaches and chronic headaches

Women may have more migraines than men, but cluster headaches are 6 times more common in males than females. They can also have chronic headaches, neck pain, and more.

As an excellent remedy against pain, acupuncture can help these men find relief for a longer time.

So far, clinical research is promising, and cluster attacks are interrupted after a biweekly treatment for 2 weeks followed by a weekly session for 8 weeks (9).

7) Acupuncture can be an excellent ally against gastrointestinal symptoms

Acupuncture is very popular in China to control gastrointestinal symptoms.

Studies show that it changes acid secretion in the stomach and modulates gut motility.

It also helps the patient deal with bloating and painful symptoms. It has been used in cases of gastroesophageal reflux disease, gastric motility impairment, functional dyspepsia, irritable bowel syndrome, and much more (10).

The benefits described above show that acupuncture can be an excellent aid for men’s health.

Acupuncture treatments can relieve common health conditions in males, but we should have a realistic expectation.

In most cases, successful studies show improvements after weeks of ongoing treatment.

Thus, you should receive regular acupuncture treatment even if you don’t feel a big difference right away.

It is also essential to understand that acupuncture is a complementary treatment and you should use it to speed up recovery along with medical treatment.

Therefore, you should ideally ask your doctor and follow their instructions, talking about acupuncture as a safe option that you want to try.

Conclusion

Oriental medicine isn’t necessarily opposed to Western medicine, and acupuncture therapy is an excellent example.

In males, it can be beneficial for pain management, coping with stress, and dealing with symptoms of prostate enlargement erectile dysfunction.

In addition, it modulates blood pressure and several parameters depending on specific acupuncture points.

To obtain the benefits of this type of therapy, make sure that your acupuncture practitioner is a licensed acupuncturist and get regular acupuncture sessions.

Do not replace medical treatment and a doctor’s opinion and use this option as a complementary therapy for a faster recovery.

Sources

  1. Chon, T. Y., & Lee, M. C. (2013, October). Acupuncture. In Mayo Clinic Proceedings (Vol. 88, No. 10, pp. 1141-1146). Elsevier. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/24079683/
  2. Stux, G. (1995). Technique of acupuncture. In Basics of acupuncture (pp. 188-199). Springer, Berlin, Heidelberg. https://link.springer.com/chapter/10.1007/978-3-642-85496-5_5
  3. Cabioglu, M. T., & Surucu, H. S. (2009). Acupuncture and neurophysiology. Medical acupuncture, 21(1), 13-20. https://www.liebertpub.com/doi/abs/10.1089/acu.2009.0638
  4. Wadsworth, L. T. (2006). Acupuncture in sports medicine. Current sports medicine reports, 5(1), 1-3. https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s11932-006-0021-4
  5. Lee, M. S., Shin, B. C., & Ernst, E. (2009). Acupuncture for treating erectile dysfunction: a systematic review. BJU international, 104(3), 366-370. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/19239450/
  6. Zhang, W., Ma, L., Bauer, B. A., Liu, Z., & Lu, Y. (2017). Acupuncture for benign prostatic hyperplasia: A systematic review and meta-analysis. PloS one, 12(4), e0174586. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/28376120/
  7. Litscher, G., Liu, C. Z., Wang, L., Wang, L. P., Li, Q. Q., Shi, G. X., … & Wang, X. M. (2013). Improvement of the dynamic responses of heart rate variability patterns after needle and laser acupuncture treatment in patients with burnout syndrome: a transcontinental comparative study. Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine, 2013.
  8. Zhao, K. (2013). Acupuncture for the treatment of insomnia. International review of neurobiology, 111, 217-234. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/24215925/
  9. Fofi, L., Allais, G., Quirico, P. E., Rolando, S., Borgogno, P., Barbanti, P., & Benedetto, C. (2014). Acupuncture in cluster headache: four cases and review of the literature. Neurological Sciences, 35(1), 195-198. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/24867865/
  10. Takahashi, T. (2006). Acupuncture for functional gastrointestinal disorders. Journal of gastroenterology, 41(5), 408-417. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/16799881/

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