There are many issues encountered by caregivers when looking after their elderly, from mobility problems to anxiety and depression. Acupuncture brings a number of positive effects that can improve quality of life among these patients.
Here we’ll take a look at 3 acupuncture benefits for elderly care: stress relief, improved balance and reduced inflammation.
Acupuncture has been shown to be an effective treatment for stress and anxiety. There are a myriad of acupuncture treatments available that focus on relieving emotional and mental stressors through the acupuncture points (acupoints). Many of these acupoints correspond to hormonal glands, such as the hypothalamus which regulates both stress and sleep, providing acupuncture with an excellent means of regulating both.
The elderly often experience many different types of stress including social isolation, loss of independence and death or illness among loved ones. Acupuncture can help those suffering from depression find some relief from their symptoms by improving mood, thus allowing them to feel better able to cope with their day-to-day lives.
Improved balance is an issue that often affects the elderly, and can result in many problems such as falls and accidents. Acupuncture has been shown to improve muscle strength and reduce co-ordination issues due to imbalances in the spleen or stomach meridians. One study showed that acupuncture given twice a week for four weeks can induce an increase in proprioception (the sense of where the body is in relation to its surroundings) by 19%. This improvement lasted 4 months after treatment had finished.
While acupuncture treatments aim to encourage relaxation and decreased anxiety, acupuncture points around the knee and ankle areas need increased mental focus on leg movement, which will help stimulate those acupuncture points.
Inflammation reduction is acupuncture’s most well known and documented acupuncture benefit. Acupuncture points on the ear correspond to specific areas of pain through stimulation of different acupuncture meridians which, when stimulated by acupuncture needles or acupressure, can reduce inflammation and ease symptoms including soreness and stiffness. While acupuncture is used mainly for muscular skeletal issues, acupuncture has been shown to reduce the symptoms associated with arthritis of all types. This is due to acupuncture’s ability to lower levels of uric acid in the blood, thus reducing pain and discomfort.
Acupuncture has a variety of acupuncture benefits for elderly care patients that helps improve their quality of life and relieve symptoms caused by stress, anxiety or depression and inflammation and pain reduction. By reducing unnecessary stress acupuncture can help elderly patients to maintain their independence and improve their overall quality of life.