Acupuncture to Support Thyroid
by Ann Lee
The thyroid is a critical part of our wellbeing; it can impact all of our hormones, including stress and reproductive hormones, the strength of our immune system and our ability to maintain a healthy weight.
While acupuncture’s most popular use is for pain management, it can also be used to support hormones, including thyroid function. Acupuncture works by bringing more blood flow and circulation to specific parts of the body. With more blood flow, specific organs including the thyroid can receive more oxygen for hormone production.
Acupuncture points are generally needled along meridians in the body, of which there are 12 principal meridians to choose from. When needles are placed along specific meridians, they help to bring more blood flow and circulation to organs that are located on specific meridians, similar to reflexology.
Needles can be placed in specific acupuncture meridians to bring more blood flow and circulation to the thyroid. Acupuncture needles do not necessarily have to be placed where the thyroid is located. They are oftentimes placed in the arms, legs and head.
In 2011, a research study, “The influence of acupuncture on the quality of life and the level of thyroid-stimulating hormone in patients presenting with subclinical hypothyroidism,” by Luzina KÉ, Luzina LL, Vasilenko AM, Voprosy Kurortologii, Fizioterapii, and Lechebnoi Fizicheskoi Kultury, was performed. Twenty women with high thyroid-stimulating hormone values received acupuncture for three to four months. This resulted in normalized hormone values and a significant decrease in severity of fatigue and pain.
It is important to note that acupuncture is not an overnight process when it comes to supporting the thyroid. Some may have heard cases of people getting immediate results with acupuncture and resolving pain, but thyroid hormones take time to produce, and therefore thyroid function can be improved over time. Acupuncture frequency for thyroid function can range from weekly to monthly appointments. Factors that affect acupuncture duration are stress, nutrition and exercise. Acupuncture may be an option for those wanting to optimize their thyroid function.
Dr. Ann Lee, naturopathic doctor and licensed acupuncturist, is the owner of Health For Life Clinic, located at 112 N. Cornell Ave., in Lancaster. For more information, visit DoctorNaturalMedicine.com.