There are so many reasons to try acupuncture that it's difficult to narrow it down for one just article! So for now here are eight common (and important) health benefits of acupuncture:

1. Acupuncture helps you get a good night's sleep.

Insomnia is a very common complaint in my Chicago acupuncture practice. Luckily, acupuncture is often highly effective at helping treat those sleepless nights. Even if you'r already a good sleeper, acupuncture can improve upon it. Many of my patients report feeling better rested after a treatment.

2. Acupuncture is a well known pain reliever.

This includes many types of pain: back pain, muscle pain, arthritis, sciatica, headaches, migraines, etc. Numerous studies describe how acupuncture increases your body's natural pain-killing chemicals, endorphins, which are 200 times more potent than morphine.

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Acupuncture has also been shown to stimulate the body to produce a chemical compound called adenosine, a painkiller that your body manufactures when you are injured. In early 2009 for instance, the US Air Force began teaching acupuncture to physicians who were being deployed to Iraq and Afghanistan to offer wounded soldiers an alternative form of treatment.

3. Acupuncture reduces nausea.

Women experiencing morning sickness now have a wonderful alternative to drugs. This becomes especially important because many pregnant patients are hesitant to take any medication.

Acupuncture can also relieve nausea from most other causes including: digestive disorders, postoperative nausea, chemotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting. All these sufferers can get relief with acupuncture, with little to no medication.

4. Acupuncture can help you chill out.

Acupuncture is very effective for reducing stress and anxiety. It calms the nervous system and affects the way your mind, body and spirit manage the stress life can throw at us.

Acupuncture has also been found to regulate serotonin which has repeatedly been shown to positively affect your mood. It also releases endorphins, our bodies own natural feel good chemicals.

5. Acupuncture can improve energy.

Often, immediately following a treatment, you may feel very relaxed or what a few patients have referred to as "blissed out." However, the usual longterm effect is improved energy and an enhanced sense of well-being.

6. Acupuncture is great for athletes.

You don't have to be a Tour de France winner or an Olympic medalist (though many are already fans of the practice) to get acupuncture's benefits.

Whether you're a professional athlete or an active person, acupuncture can help you feel great and perform at your best. Acupuncture offers a drug-free option with little to no side effects to help pain relief, promote faster recovery from injuries and tough workouts, improve circulation, decrease inflammation, aid muscle relaxation, and provide better sleep and improved energy.

7. Acupuncture is a great conversation starter.

Have you ever gone to a party and needed a little help talking to people? Next time you're at a social event, try casually mentioning that you've had acupuncture treatments. People will have many questions for you ... "Did it hurt?" Or, "Where did the acupuncturist put the needles?", "Did you like it?", etc.

And if you're afraid of over sharing your personal life you can always reply that it was for stress relief. You might also get to hear acupuncture stories from other people and bond over the experience, too.

8. Acupuncture is extremely safe.

When practiced by a licensed provider with proper training (a master's in Oriental medicine is a 4-year program) acupuncture is an incredibly safe alternative healing modality. A licensed acupuncturist follows very specific guidelines, so you can be rest assured that you're in the knowledgeable hands of someone whom you can trust.

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