Hemorrhoids can make simply going to the bathroom a painful struggle. And, unfortunately, many patients with hemorrhoids avoid ever getting treatment due to embarrassment. But it’s estimated that 1 in 20 Americans have hemorrhoids. This condition is incredibly common, especially in maternity patients, as well as those aged 50 and up. If you have hemorrhoids and you’re interested in taking a more natural approach to your treatment, you may be wondering if acupuncture for hemorrhoids really works.
Somewhat surprisingly, acupuncture can be an incredibly effective therapy for managing hemorrhoid symptoms. Regular sessions can reduce pain, swelling, and inflammation associated with hemorrhoids making those trips to the bathroom much easier.
What are hemorrhoids?
Hemorrhoids, or piles, are swollen, inflamed veins located near the rectum and anus. There are two types of hemorrhoids: internal hemorrhoids, or those that form in the interior lining of the anus and rectum, and external hemorrhoids, which are located under the skin around the anus.
These veins can cause an array of discomforting symptoms, including chronic constipation, diarrhea, itchiness, painful bowel movements, bleeding, and excessive straining during defecation. The pain caused by hemorrhoids can even cause patients to put off going to the bathroom, which only makes their symptoms worse.
Both men and women are equally likely to deal with hemorrhoids. This condition can affect anyone, regardless of age, however, it is more commonly seen in patients aged 50 or older. Pregnant women and women who have recently given birth are also more likely to suffer from hemorrhoids.
How does acupuncture for hemorrhoids work?
Let’s face it, the idea of getting acupuncture for hemorrhoids can seem a little scary. After all, where exactly are those needles going? But, don’t worry. You can reap all of the benefits of acupuncture and experience relief from your symptoms without experiencing unnecessary pain or embarrassment.
Rather than place the acupuncture needles near the hemorrhoids themselves, needles may be placed on the corresponding pathways, or meridians, to stimulate the flow of blood and oxygen to the injured tissues.
Your acupuncturist may place needles in your lower back, abdomen, or upper thighs to promote the natural healing of your hemorrhoids. However, every case is different, so it’s impossible to say precisely which acupuncture points will need to be targeted..
Prior to your session, your acupuncturist will inquire about your health history to determine the best strategy for treatment. This allows them to address any underlying dysfunction that you may not even be aware you’re dealing with. You may find needles placed in some seemingly unrelated locations, like your arms or shoulders, depending on the potential causes of your condition.
How does acupuncture benefit hemorrhoid patients?
Regular acupuncture sessions can improve the quality of life for hemorrhoid patients. Because it’s holistic, acupuncture takes your entire well-being into account, not just the hemorrhoids themselves. This means acupuncture has the potential to support your body’s ability to heal all the way around, so you can finally find relief from your symptoms.
Even though NSAIDs can be helpful for treating hemorrhoid pain, too, they can be damaging to the liver, especially when taken for long periods. But because acupuncture is so effective in managing inflammation, many patients are able to reduce or even eliminate their reliance on pain medications.
Acupuncture can also be used to help patients recover from hemorrhoid surgery. In a study, acupuncture was found to be an effective analgesic for post-operative hemorrhoid patients, reducing their discomfort without the use of prescription pain medications. Now that’s impressive!
Is acupuncture alone enough to treat hemorrhoids?
Acupuncture is certainly helpful when it comes to managing hemorrhoid symptoms. But other therapies can prove to be beneficial, too!
Because hemorrhoids can be the result of a lack of fiber, nutrition therapy can help you correct dietary imbalances. Eating more vegetables and other sources of roughage make going to the bathroom easier, and that in and of itself can help you manage your symptoms.
Traditional Chinese medicinal blends can also be used to great effect. Like acupuncture, these herbal remedies support your body’s ability to heal itself. Most herbal blends are adaptogenic, meaning they have a regulatory effect on the body, stimulating hypoactive systems while simultaneously calming overactive ones.
When it comes to holistic healthcare, utilizing a variety of treatments at one time is best. Depending on the cause of your health condition, your acupuncturist may recommend a variety of therapies to help you find fast relief from your debilitating symptoms.
How many acupuncture sessions are needed to treat hemorrhoids?
Hemorrhoids caused by a poor diet may only require a handful of acupuncture sessions. Once you’ve amended your daily meal plan to meet all of your nutritional and macronutrient requirements, you’ll likely see a significant improvement in your symptoms. A short stint of acupuncture treatments may be all you need to manage your symptoms effectively.
If your hemorrhoids are the result of pregnancy and/or childbirth, then a short round of weekly acupuncture sessions may be enough for you as well. Hemorrhoids in maternity patients often resolve on their own in time, but supportive measures like acupuncture can make them much easier to cope with throughout their duration.
But, if you’ve been struggling with hemorrhoids for years, you’ll likely need regular acupuncture treatments to reduce your symptoms. Weekly sessions for several months, followed by periodic tune-ups to keep things in good working order is often the best strategy in these cases.
Scheduling your first appointment
Although acupuncture is most often used to treat musculoskeletal pain, it can be helpful in treating other health conditions, too. From hemorrhoids to seasonal allergies to diverticulitis, any patient can benefit from the healing powers of this amazing holistic therapy, no matter what symptoms they’re experiencing.
To learn more about how acupuncture can improve your health, contact our office today to book your first appointment.
At Orlando Alternative Health, we will listen to your health concerns and help you create a wellness plan that allows you to manage your symptoms effectively so you can get back to enjoying life.