September 13

How Acupuncture Can Help Improve Your Circulation This Winter

As the winter months continue and colder weather becomes an issue for us all to deal with, acupuncture, as it turns out, can help make your season a little warmer. Why is that, you may ask? Due to the ancient principles of traditional acupuncture, researchers have found that there is significant elevation in the whole body’s blood flow after treatment, allowing blood to reach your extremities that are always cold.

But is this too good to be true? According to the Health CMI website, studies have been done that prove this is the case- especially when the acupuncture point ST36 is needled. Using multi-channel photoplethysmography to map the blood flow in the body, they recorded that there were “significant elevations in the whole-body peripheral blood flow and parasympathetic activities” after acupuncture.

This reinforces the ancient principles of acupuncture, whilst also showing huge differences in the body’s ability to pump blood to both the upper and lower limbs both during and after acupuncture was completed.

Although in 1996 the World Health Organization (WHO) already denoted that there are 64 conditions that acupuncture can be helpful with, ranging from pain, psychiatric concerns, dermatological conditions, respiratory disorders and gynecological diseases, the scope for what acupuncture can help cure or aid in is not yet complete.  Around the world, acupuncture is used to help treat many more conditions including stroke, dementia, epilepsy, Parkinson’s disease, and more.

About the Equipment Used in the Research

Photoplethysmography is a non-invasive optical technique that is used to measure blood volume changes in your microvascular beds. Using an eight-channel photoplethysmography devices with high and low-pass filters with cutoff frequencies ranging between .48- 10 Hz to measure the volume. Researchers processed their data using a USB-6210 DAQ analog to digital converter (made by National Instruments in Austin, Texas). From there, a computer was utilized to both store the data and to perform waveform monitoring and analysis throughout their research. 

About the Point in Question 

The point that is responsible for so much of the positive feedback on the increase in circulation is the ST36 point, which is located on your lower leg. The point’s name is leg 3 mile and the story goes that in ancient China when soldiers needed a push, the point ST36 was used so that the troops could travel 3 more miles. The functions of this point have been studied immensely and it is one of the most important points to help regulate the immune system. Also because of its location on the leg it helps promote healthy blood flow to the extremities. In addition to ST36, other points that compliment it will be used as a prescription for increasing blood flow throughout the body.

Infrared heat therapy

Another important modality used in the treatment of circulation are infrared heat lamps which are an added lamp which warms the tissues and also works to increase blood flow to the areas the lamp is used.[DC1]

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