Using Acupuncture to Treat Thyroid Problems

January 30, 2020

The wellness market is estimated to grow by 6.9% annually in North America. This depicts that people are gradually embracing wellness approaches to solve daily challenges. Treating thyroid problems using acupuncture is now common. The thyroid hormone secreted by the thyroid gland regulates various metabolic processes in your body. Too much or too little of this hormone can affect your energy levels, body weight, as well as mental health.

An overproduction of the thyroid hormone results in hyperthyroidism, while an underproduction results in hypothyroidism. Both Conditions have different symptoms, as we have listed below.

Hyperthyroidism Symptoms

  • Weight loss
  • Faster heart rate, higher blood pressure, and nervousness
  • Weak muscles
  • Frequent bowel movements
  • Goiter
  • Lighter menstrual periods
  • Hypothyroidism Symptoms

    • Depression
    • Slower heart rate
    • Constipation
    • Heavier menstrual periods
    • Increased sensitivity to cold
    • Striking a Balance

      Traditional Chinese medicine attributes both hyperthyroidism and hypothyroidism to an imbalance of yin (structure) and yang (function) in the human body. Therefore, acupuncture for thyroid aims at restoring this balance.

      However, acupuncture for thyroid disorders may vary from one patient to the other. For instance, a patient with hypothyroidism will receive different treatment from another one with standard hyperthyroidism symptoms.

      Using Acupuncture to Treat Thyroid Disorders

      With thyroid problems affecting so many people, it has become necessary to look for all possible means to mitigate them. Acupuncture, which is a constituent of Chinese herbal remedies, can be used to treat thyroid problems. Other approaches include herbal remedies, as well as special exercises.

      In the acupuncture approach, extremely thin needles are inserted in your skin at strategic points. It is commonly used to treat pain. According to Chinese, the needles help balance the flow of energy throughout your body.

      Western practitioners, on the other hand, believe that acupuncture stimulates nerves and connective tissue, which in turn increases blood flow.

      How Does Acupuncture Help?

      Acupuncture has been found useful in several ways such as:

      • Increasing thyroid hormones to people with hypothyroidism
      • Decreasing levels of thyroid hormones to people with hyperthyroidism
      • Increasing blood circulation which in turn improves joint mobility
      • Reducing inflammation
      • Reducing sensitivity to pain
      • What You Need to Know About Acupuncture Treatments

        Besides thyroid problems, acupuncture has been used for ages to treat other health problems. Here are a few notable things about acupuncture:

        1. It is not Painful

        Although you could receive between five to twenty needles in one acupuncture appointment, it is painless. The practitioner uses extremely thin needles. Hence, all you feel is slight pressure once the needle enters your skin.

        However, the needles are disposed of after a single-use, upholding your safety.

        2. One Session is not enough

        Although there is no doubt about acupuncture’s effectiveness, you need more than one session to enjoy long-term results. Depending on your condition, your acupuncturist will advise you on how many visits will do the job.

        3. It is not Religious

        Many people associate acupuncture treatment with spiritual or religious therapy. However, it is none of those. Its principles are based on Chinese medicine.

        4. Eat Before Treatment

        You need a lot of energy during the procedure. Otherwise, you might experience lightheadedness. Therefore, eating right before treatment would help.

        5. Dress Loosely

        You might not want to undress during treatment. However, if the acupuncturist is having trouble accessing some parts of your body, you will be forced to. Therefore, to avoid taking off your clothes, wear loose clothes.

        6. Other forms of treatment can be incorporated

        In some cases, you might receive a massage from the acupuncturist. How is that? They might perform different types of therapy to complement acupuncture. This might include acupressure and cupping.

        What are the Drawbacks?

        Acupuncture for thyroid treatment can pose some disadvantages. One of the significant drawbacks is slow treatment. Unlike natural medicine, acupuncture does not treat different pressure points simultaneously. Therefore, it is time-consuming for both the patient and the therapist.

        Besides, the pressure can cause harm to an expectant mother, as well as to the baby. In the worst-case scenario, it can lead to a miscarriage.

        It is Complementary

        In most cases, acupuncture for thyroid is considered complementary medicine. Therefore, it can be used alongside other forms of treatment, such as medication. To be sure, consult your doctor. The doctor can advise if it is safe to reduce or discontinue the medication.

        If you discontinue medication, get your blood checked regularly to ensure that your thyroid continues to function correctly.