Acupuncture for Thyroid Conditions
Thyroid conditions are caused by a disfunction in the thyroid gland in the neck. The most common thyroid conditions include thyroiditis, inflammation of the thyroid; hypothyroidism, when the thyroid gland doesn’t produce enough thyroid hormone; and hyperthyroidism, when the thyroid produces too much thyroid hormone.
Thyroid.org estimated that over 20 million people in the US have some form of a thyroid condition. Women are far more likely to be affected, with Women’s Health reporting that one in eight women will develop thyroid problems during her lifetime.
Common symptoms of thyroid disease include fatigue, muscle stiffness, dry skin and brittle hair, sensitivity to the cold, and even depression and weight gain. Symptoms are so hard to treat because thyroid disease is usually cased by autoimmune disease, which means the immune system will attack the thyroid, leading to the overproduction or underproduction of the thyroid hormone, regardless of medical intervention.
Luckily, a growing understanding of thyroid disease and the endocrine system has led to a relatively new, and much more effective, approach to treatment: acupuncture.
How Acupuncture for Thyroid Conditions Works
Acupuncture for the thyroid involves using a personalized approach to treating a thyroid condition based on a person’s particular symptoms. The goal of acupuncture is to restore balance in the body, reducing the cause of many thyroid disease-related symptoms.
During acupuncture for thyroid conditions, a therapist will place needles in specific pressure points that can most effectively restore balance and reduce common symptoms of a thyroid disorder. These include the mid-point on the backside of the body, the forehead space between the eyes, the lateral edge of the elbow crease, and the tip of the Adam’s apple.
Specifically, acupuncture has a number of benefits for patients with thyroid conditions. It’s been found to naturally increase or reduce levels of the thyroid hormone appropriately in people with hypothyroidism and hyperthyroidism. It can also reduce sensitivity to pain, improve joint mobility, and reduce inflammation.
Proven Benefits of Acupuncture for Thyroid Conditions
In recent years, many studies have explored the benefits of acupuncture for thyroid conditions. An overview of these studies noted that many studies reported reductions in patient symptoms and reduced severity of a thyroid condition when acupuncture was used alone or in combination therapy.
Another study looked specifically at hypothyroidism and reported that the study’s sole participant, who had been diagnosed with Hashimoto hypothyroidism, experienced a gradual normalization of thyroid hormones during their three years’ worth of regular acupuncture treatment.
The Future of Acupuncture for Thyroid Conditions
When used over a sustained period of time, there’s plenty of evidence in favor of acupuncture’s effectiveness in treating common thyroid conditions. For patients living with a lifelong thyroid disorder, acupuncture can reduce common symptoms, and naturally restore normal levels of the thyroid hormone in the body.
Acupuncture is already a hugely popular therapy for thyroid problems, providing a long-term solution with a positive outcome for many patients. It’s likely that as our knowledge about the inner healing benefits of acupuncture continues to grow, so will the therapy’s popularity.