Guest post by Christian Worstell , a health and lifestyle writer living in Raleigh, NC.

Photo Credit: Pexels

Acupuncture is a form of alternative medicine that utilizes tiny needles injected into strategic parts of the body to relieve pain and nausea and treat a variety of health conditions. 

While many think of acupuncture as being used only by holistic seekers and Hollywood celebrities, there are actually a number of benefits to the practice for ordinary seniors. Below are 10 reasons why older adults should consider acupuncture. 

1. It can be effective against eye disorders.

Acute Conjunctivitis, Cataracts and Central Retinitis Myopia are all common eye disorders in the elderly. They are also effectively treated by acupuncture, which promotes better blood circulation around the eyes and has even been shown to help with Glaucoma. 

2. It’s good for oral health.

Seniors face a number of oral health issues as gums and teeth fall victim to decay in old age. But research has shown that acupuncture can help treat pain in the mouth brought on by a toothache, extraction or TMJ disorder.   

3. It can benefit the respiratory system.

The respiratory system undergoes a series of changes as we age. Muscles weaken and the amount of air that can be stored and pumped in and out decreases. Acupuncture stimulates the circulation of oxygen and dilates the airways to improve breathing and combat many of the symptoms brought on by allergies. 

4. There are minimal side effects.

An older body and immune system aren’t well equipped to take on many of the side effects found in prescription medications. Fortunately, aside from some possible bruising or swelling, acupuncture comes with only minimal side effects. 

5. It can benefit mental and emotional health.

Seniors are especially vulnerable to anxiety and depression due to loneliness and declining health and quality of life. The foundation of acupuncture is a connection between body and mind, and the practice can help alleviate much of the pressure and stress that accumulates with old age. 

6. It can really help your back.

Back problems have long plagued the older population. Not only is acupuncture effective at treating back pain, but back pain is actually the No. 1 reason people seek this type of treatment.

7. It eases arthritis.

More than 50 million adults in the U.S. are believed to suffer from arthritis. Acupuncture has shown to be effective at controlling inflammation, relieving discomfort and reducing swelling brought on by arthritis.

Acupuncture is effective at treating general pain as well and is often incorporated into a physical therapy regimen

8. It can improve digestion. 

Our digestive system becomes less effective as we get older, and the result is things like constipation, stomach pains and difficulty processing certain foods. Acupuncture can reduce inflammation in the stomach and pancreas and nourish key organs for a more effective digestive tract. 

9. It can help you sleep.

Almost half of adults age 60 and over suffer from sleep deprivation, and the list of contributing factors can include snoring or sleep apnea, restless leg syndrome and increased bladder activity just to name a few. 

Acupuncture has been shown in studies to improve sleep by lessening anxiety, stimulating melatonin production and inducing sleep onset. 

10. It can enhance the effects of pharmaceuticals. 

A study published in the Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine revealed that a small dosage of depression medication (Prozac) combined with acupuncture was just as effective as a full dose of medicine with no acupuncture. This allows seniors to curb their reliance on medication (and its cost) while also limiting side effects. 

If you’re struggling with physical, mental or emotional distress, consider going under the needle to discover the many benefits of acupuncture for senior adults. 

Author Bio: Christian Worstell is a health and lifestyle writer living in Raleigh, NC.

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