Health Team

The Multiple Benefits of Acupuncture for Physical and Mental Illness

Posted December 9, 2013

The advantages of acupuncture to ease physical discomfort have been widely documented, but its assistance with mental and emotional illnesses is slowly emerging in the health care community. Acupuncture is on the rise as an alternative medicine that can provide benefits in a variety of situations.

What is Acupuncture?

With roots in ancient Chinese medicine more than 2000 years ago, acupuncture involves inserting thin needles at specific pressure points in the body. These pressure points are believed to carry energy, or qi, throughout the body. An imbalance of energy can cause pain or discomfort. Acupuncture is thought to help correct that balance. Some believe that the needles stimulate nerves, providing relief. Others suggest that stimulation from the procedure releases endorphins that block pain.

Regardless of the varying beliefs, many people find that it’s a tremendous help. Acupuncture has become increasingly popular since it was widely introduced to the United States in the 1970s. By 2007, over 14 million people used acupuncture either independently or to augment a traditional medical treatment.

Benefits of Acupuncture

Most people are familiar with using acupuncture to help with back pain, but it also helps relieve pain and discomfort from other chronic illnesses including fibromyalgia, carpal tunnel syndrome, neck pain, arthritis, asthma, migraines, nausea resulting from chemotherapy and stroke rehabilitation. With the reduction of pain and stiffness, patients may be able to decrease other pain medications they take, resulting in fewer side effects and a greater feeling of wellness.

But acupuncture's benefits are not limited to physical ailments. Acupuncture can help decrease depression. PLOS Medicine, a medical journal, described a study that found acupuncture helped significantly reduce depression in people with a moderate or severe degree of the illness. This can be particularly useful for patients for whom antidepressant medications are not extremely effective.

Acupuncture is also used to help with insomnia and anxiety. It has also helped people who are challenged by substance abuse, smoking and alcohol use.

In addition to the direct effect acupuncture can have on mental illnesses, the relief it brings from physical ailments can also benefit patients' emotional state. An Institute of Medicine Report says that at least 100 million adults live with chronic pain, resulting in lost productivity, loss of income, depression and decreased quality of life. Relieving chronic physical pain can lead to a significant improvement in mental health.

Acupuncture at Carolina Partners in Mental HealthCare

Carolina Partners is pleased to provide acupuncture as one of the many comprehensive wellness services. Pat Kelley, an experienced licensed acupuncturist has established a practice in the Wellness Center in our Raleigh and Chapel Hill offices, offering evening hours to accommodate busy schedules.
For more information, please contact us at 919-929-9610 or visit us at

Carolina Partners in Mental HealthCare is an advertising partner of, but each article is intended to be educational and informative in nature.


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