In the past we’ve written quite a lot about the numerous health benefits associated with traditional medicinal practices like acupuncture, ranging from allergy relief to helping ease back pain.
Recently, I came across a study on acupuncture that showed how this ancient practice may also benefit those with mild cognitive impairment and memory loss.
Keeping your memory sharp!
This latest meta-analysis, published in the BMJ journal Acupuncture in Medicine, reviewed the results of five different trials, featuring more than 550 patients with memory loss and cognitive decline of which nearly half received acupuncture. The studies featured half-hour sessions of acupuncture, three to five times a week, for two to three months.
The researchers compared the results with patients who received a calcium-channel blocker prescribed off-label for memory problems, called nimodipine.
Based on the results, those who received acupuncture showed a significant improvement in their memory function compared to those who took nimodipene alone.
In other words, acupuncture — either as a complementary therapy or on its own — appeared to improve cognitive function in patients suffering mental declines.
Not too shabby for a bunch of needles stuck into random body parts. (Of course, they’re not random at all… but unless you’re trained in Chinese medicine, the needle placement may not seem to make much sense.)
You see, those who practice Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) believe the human body has up to 20 pathways of energy, called meridians. These channels course throughout the body, carrying energy in much the same way that our circulatory system carries blood to and from our vital organs.
However, these pathways can become blocked. When this flow of energy (or chi) is disrupted, the result is poor health and the development of specific ailments. In the case of acupuncture, needles are used to stimulate specific pressure points along these meridians.
Stimulating these pressure points can help release muscular tension and promote better blood circulation. Acupuncturists also believe that it can remove blockages, thereby allowing the body’s energy to flow naturally and stimulate self-healing.
The positive results of this latest study could not come at a better time, especially with the sharp rise in dementia among elderly patients coupled with conventional medicine’s lacklustre success when it comes to finding a solution to cognitive decline.
And while many mainstreamers are sceptical about the use of acupuncture, it seems to me that when it comes to protecting your precious memories, mainstream medicine should spare their scepticism and begin to look at complimentary ways to help combat (or at least slow down) the progression of age-related memory loss.
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Disclaimer: Bear in mind the material contained in this article is provided for information purposes only. We are not addressing anyone’s personal situation. Please consult with your own physician before acting on any recommendations contained herein.
Acupunct Med. Published online August 4, 2016