Lupus, a chronic autoimmune disease, affects millions of individuals worldwide. As medical research continues to evolve, alternative and adjunct therapeutic interventions, such as acupuncture, have gained attention in the management of lupus symptoms. This Blog Post aims to explore the use of acupuncture as a potential treatment for lupus, delving into its efficacy and scientific basis, as supported in scholarly literature.
Acupuncture is a traditional Chinese medicine technique that involves the insertion of thin, sterile single-use needles at specific points along the body's meridian or neuro-pathways to stimulate energy flow. This practice has been utilized for thousands of years in the treatment of various health conditions and presently this also includes Lupus.
Acupuncture and Immunomodulation in Lupus: One of the fundamental aspects of lupus manifests as an overactive immune system attacking healthy tissues. Acupuncture has been suggested to possess immunomodulatory effects, potentially regulating the immune response in individuals with lupus. A study published in the Journal of Autoimmunity (2005) found that electro-acupuncture, a variation of acupuncture, influenced immune cell types and their functions in mice with lupus, leading to a reduction in autoantibody production and overall disease severity.
Acupuncture for Pain and Inflammation Management: Pain and inflammation are prevalent symptoms experienced by individuals with lupus. Acupuncture has been suggested to alleviate pain by promoting the release of endogenous opioids, which are natural pain-relieving compounds. A systematic review and meta-analysis published in the European Journal of Pain (2018) found consistent evidence supporting the analgesic effects of acupuncture in various chronic pain conditions, including musculoskeletal pain commonly associated with lupus. Additionally, acupuncture's anti-inflammatory properties have been postulated to help reduce inflammation in lupus patients. A study published in PLOS ONE (2015) found that acupuncture inhibited inflammation-related signaling pathways, providing a potential therapeutic benefit in inflammatory conditions.
Acupuncture and Fatigue in Lupus: Fatigue significantly impacts the quality of life in individuals with lupus. Several studies suggest that acupuncture may effectively reduce fatigue levels. In a randomized controlled trial published in the Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine (2012), acupuncture was found to be superior to sham acupuncture in alleviating fatigue and improving sleep quality in individuals with systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE).
Acupuncture and Stress Reduction: Stress can exacerbate lupus symptoms and trigger disease flares. Acupuncture has been proposed as a modality to reduce stress. A systematic review and meta-analysis published in the Journal of Clinical Rheumatology (2013) found consistent evidence supporting acupuncture's effectiveness in reducing stress and anxiety in rheumatic diseases, including lupus.
Although the body of research investigating acupuncture for lupus is still growing, existing studies suggest that acupuncture holds promise as a complementary treatment modality for individuals suffering from lupus. The immunomodulatory, analgesic, anti-inflammatory, fatigue-reducing, and stress-reducing effects of acupuncture offer a multi-faceted approach to addressing lupus symptoms. Despite these positive indications, it is essential to acknowledge that acupuncture should not replace conventional medical treatments for lupus. Instead, it should be carefully incorporated into a comprehensive treatment plan in consultation with a registered acupuncturist. Collaborating with healthcare providers and integrating acupuncture into a comprehensive treatment plan may offer additional benefits to lupus patients and enhance their overall well-being. After treatments, one may feel relaxed, energized, and rejuvenated. It is essential to communicate with your practitioner about your experience to ensure you receive the maximum benefits from these treatments. Click the button below and book a complementary 15-minute consultation at Acute Acupuncture 163 The Terrace, Wellington Central, Wellington. Lets's discuss if acupuncture is the right thing for you. Thank you for taking the time to read this Blog Post, don't forget to like, subscribe, and share this post with others. If you have any questions or concerns check out Acute-Acupuncture Wellington Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs), as we find this help to answer most people's questions, and or please leave a comment below.