How Acupuncture May Treat Lupus
The National Institutes of Health (NIH) is widely considered to be one of the most prestigious health organizations in the United States of America. If the researchers at this organization put a stamp of approval on any given treatment, you can rest assured that they have completed a thorough investigation.
The National Institutes of Health ran a study on the use of acupuncture treatment in Lupus patients; they found that ten sessions of acupuncture was safe and very effective for patients with Systemic Lupus Sclerosis.
Acupuncture decreased pain and reduced fatigue in the subjects. The researchers did report that approximately 23% of the subjects experienced minor side effects such as bruising, dizziness, and pain at the site of the acupuncture point. However, none of the side effects interfered with successive treatments and the NIH considered the treatment safe. This study offers hope to other Lupus patients.
Symptoms Exhibited by Lupus Patients
There are a variety of symptoms exhibited by people with Lupus, and each one of them may be treated with acupuncture:
- skin disorders (excess yang)
- low numbers of red and white blood cells as well as platelets (yin deficiency)
- memory loss
- hair loss (yin deficiency)
- joint pain (yin deficiency)
- kidney disorders (yang excess)
- inflammation of other organs (yang excess)
- difficulty breathing
Helpful Acupuncture/Acupressure Points
Here are some acupuncture points that you can stimulate at home:
CV 3 (called ‘Conception Vessel 3’)
This is an intersection point of three different meridians – the spleen, kidney and liver. It’s known to be a powerful point in acupuncture and acupressure. To find this point, find your pubic bone and place your finger in the midline of the body at the level of this bone. Move upwards about three finger widths; the CV 3 point lies here.
This is the kidney revival point; it’s between your medial anklebone and the Achilles tendon.
When excess yang is causing aggravation of Lupus symptoms, this is the point to stimulate. It’s located below the thumb on the inside of the crease of the wrist.
This point is located on the back, at the level of the lower part of the spinous process of T11 and one and a half finger width lateral to the spine. It’ s commonly pressed for conditions such as diarrhea, vomiting, jaundice anorexia, backache, and swelling.
This point is used to relieve dizziness, lower back pain, asthma, diarrhea, blurry vision, and urination problems. It is located on the back at the lowe part of the spinous process of L2 lumbar vertebrae, and one and a half finger widths lateral to the spine.
This point is called ‘Leg Three Miles’; find the joint between the femur and the tibia. The exact point is closer to the fibula (the small bone of the lower leg) than to the middle of the tibia. Now move three finger widths down; this point is one finger width from the bony ridge of the tibia.
When you press, hold for about one minute each. Lupus is a serious disease and you will achieve the best results by working with a licensed acupuncturist. While you do, learn what you can do at home for yourself. You’ll be amazed by the improvements.
Greco, C.M., et al. Acupuncture for systemic lupus erythematosus: a pilot RCT feasibility and safety study. Lupus, Dec. 2008; 17 (12): 1108-16.