Science is still working on developing a cure for HIV – but until the disease can be cured or eradicated, the medical profession is making great strides toward improving the quality of life among HIV+ patients. A big part of that comes from medication to reduce the patient’s viral load, but complementary therapies are extremely important as well.
One treatment that’s proven very effective for many people is acupuncture – a holistic treatment that can help with a variety of issues related to HIV status and overall health.
How Does Acupuncture Work?
Acupuncture is an ancient practice, dating back several thousand years. Although it’s still used today for a variety of medical applications, there is still some debate about how and why it actually works. What isn’t up for debate are the results: The scientific community in general fully supports acupuncture treatments for a wide range of ailments.
The basic concept of acupuncture is that there are specific channels or pathways in the body, called meridians, through which energy flows. By inserting small, hair-thin needles into points along these meridians, energy can be manipulated. Scientifically, these meridians generally overlap nerve channels in the body, meaning that a nervous response or stimulation may be achieved by the insertion of needles.
Ways Acupuncture Treatments Can Help with HIV
Acupuncture cannot affect the viral infection of HIV, but it can help to manage symptoms of both the disease and the side effects of medication. Acupuncture is especially good for:
- Boosting the body’s ability to deal with stress
- Improving immune response
- Boosting energy levels and elevating mood
- Treating chronic pain, including headaches
- Treating or preventing chronic nausea, particularly when caused by medication