Smoking is a major risk factor for many diseases, including cancer.
According to the CDC, smoking increases the risk of lung cancer by 50 percent and breast cancer by 70 percent.
Smokers are also at risk for developing chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), which is a progressive lung disease that can lead to:
- Shortness of breath
- Chest tightness
- Frequent infections
- Fluid buildup (pleural effusion)
If you smoke, talk to your doctor about the risk of developing COPD.
Acupuncture may help reduce these risks and improve your quality of life.
Smoking is linked to many conditions, including stroke and cardiovascular disease. Smoking may also exacerbate these conditions.
According to the American Heart Association (AHA), people who smoke are more likely to have:
- Heart disease
- Cardiovascular disease
- Lower-risk cholesterol
- High blood pressure
Acupuncture may reduce these risks because it may help reduce:
- Nerve damage
- Blood sugar control
- Heart rate
- Risk of stroke
- Risk of heart attack
It may also improve the quality of life for people with stroke or cardiovascular disease.
Cancer is caused by too many abnormal cells. They grow and spread uncontrollably.
Cancer cells often spread through the lymph and blood system.
Acupuncture may help reduce cancer risk by reducing inflammation, pain, and nerve damage.
There are three types of cancer:
- Breast cancer
- Prostate cancer
- Lung cancer
- Colon cancer
According to the American Cancer Society (ACS), smoking is a major risk factor for all three types of cancer.
Acupuncture may reduce the risk of lung, breast, and prostate cancer.
According to a 2018 review, acupuncture may be an effective complementary treatment for some types of cancer, including:
- Thyroid cancer
- Ovarian cancer
- Gallbladder cancer
- Stomach cancer
Acupuncture may help treat liver conditions, including:
- Liver inflammation
According to one 2014 review, acupuncture may help treat liver inflammation, with similar results to medications.
Acupuncture may also help reduce gallstones. According to one 2018 review, it may be as effective as surgery.
According to a 2016 review, acupuncture may help treat both liver inflammation and gallstones.
According to one 2017 review, acupuncture may be a safe and effective alternative treatment for liver inflammation.
Stroke is a significant risk factor for long-term disability and death.
According to the American Stroke Association (ASA), smoking is a major risk factor for stroke.
Acupuncture may reduce the risk of stroke by reducing inflammation and nerve damage.
According to one 2018 review, acupuncture may be an effective complementary treatment for stroke.
Risk of heart attack
Acupuncture may reduce the risk of heart attack by reducing inflammation and blood pressure.
According to a 2019 review, acupuncture may be effective for treating heart disease.
According to one 2015 review, acupuncture may be an effective complementary therapy for people with moderate to severe heart disease.
According to a 2018 review, acupuncture may have similar effects to medications.
Acupuncture may also prevent blood clots. According to one 2018 review, it may reduce the risk of blood clots by 34 percent when combined with a low-salt diet and physical activity.
How to get started?
Some people find acupuncture painful. If you do, you may want to try a different method of acupuncture.
Acupuncture needles are about an inch long. They are placed in specific points on your skin.
Acupuncture is done by licensed acupuncturists. You can find a licensed acupuncturist by asking your doctor for a referral.
You may also want to try a different form of acupuncture.
Deep needling is done by inserting the needle into the skin at a deeper depth. This may be easier for some people than others.
Deep needling is not as effective as other types of acupuncture. It’s done only under the guidance of a licensed acupuncturist.
Acupuncture is a complementary therapy. It’s not a substitute for, or a replacement for, medical treatment.
If you have questions about acupuncture, talk to your doctor.
If you’re interested in acupuncture, find a licensed acupuncturist in your area.
How much does it cost?
Acupuncture is not covered by most insurance companies. It is not covered by Medicare.
In the United States, most insurance companies require prior authorization before you can get acupuncture.
If you are interested in acupuncture, you may want to contact your insurance company to see if they will cover it.
If you have questions about insurance coverage, talk to your doctor.
What are the risks?
Acupuncture is generally safe. But there are a few risks.
Risks of acupuncture include:
- Needle misplacement
- Slight bruising or swelling
- Blood vessel damage
- Blood clots
- Nerve inflammation
- Liver disease
Your risk for complications may be higher if you have certain medical conditions, such as:
- Heart problems
- High blood sugar
- Kidney disease
- Heart failure
- Lung disease
- Poor circulation
- Severe asthma
If you are considering acupuncture, talk to your doctor before you receive treatment.
How can you prevent complications?
You can reduce your risk for complications by following your doctor’s instructions.
If you have a chronic condition, such as diabetes, you should speak with your doctor before starting acupuncture. They can help you decide if this is the best treatment for you.
If you have questions about your condition or the risks and benefits of acupuncture, talk to your doctor.
How to find a licensed acupuncturist?
The American Board of Acupuncture (ABAC) is the organization that licenses acupuncturists in the United States.
If you’re interested in acupuncture, you can find a licensed acupuncturist in your area by asking your doctor for a recommendation.
What to expect during treatment?
Before you get acupuncture, you’ll need to provide your doctor with a complete medical history.
It’s a good idea to have your doctor sign a form that outlines your medical history. This helps your doctor make sure you’re a good candidate for acupuncture.
The first treatment you’ll receive will likely be a 15minute treatment. Your symptoms will likely be alleviated in this session.
During the next session, you’ll get a second treatment. This is known as a “treat-and-release” treatment. This is when the acupuncture needles are slowly inserted into the skin.
You may need more than one session to see results.
The number of treatments you’ll need will depend on the severity of your symptoms, your treatment plan, and your overall health.
The bottom line
Acupuncture may help reduce the risk of stroke, cardiovascular disease, and cancer.
Acupuncture also may help reduce liver inflammation and gallstones
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