Crohn’s disease is an autoimmune chronic condition that mainly affects the gastrointestinal system, causing inflammation, discomfort, loss of appetite, and stress. While Crohn’s disease is chronic, there are pain relief methods that may work to ease discomfort. One of these methods to relieve the pain of Crohn’s disease is acupuncture.
Acupuncture is a Chinese medicine that entails placing small needles into the target areas of the patient. With these needles, acupuncturists can pinpoint areas in the body to relieve pain. Acupuncture can possibly help Crohn’s patients by changing how the brain processes stress and pain signals.
Acupuncture works by using specific points on the body, called “channels”, that act as energy pathways to different organs.
The foundation of acupuncture relies on energy flow – acupuncture aims to restore energy balance within the body. Once the energy is balanced and flows appropriately, this can eliminate pain and stress.
The main physical benefits of acupuncture are reduced pain, increased blood flow, decreased inflammation, and improved relaxation.
While acupuncture cannot cure Crohn’s, it can help subside some of the symptoms of the condition. A study found that Crohn’s patients who did acupuncture experienced less pain. This is due to the way acupuncture affects how the brain perceives pain.
This practice targets a specific area of the brain that perceives pain and helps to balance communication between the gut and brain to reduce overall discomfort. Instead of treating the pain itself, acupuncture actually changes how your body perceives the pain.
Additionally, acupuncture provides mental health benefits. Due to the discomfort caused to the bowel system, a lot of Crohn’s patients may suffer from anxiety and depression.
The lack of control of symptoms and restricted diet can make patients feel constant pain and feel trapped within their condition.