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Acupuncture for Non-Healing Wounds

Healing the Unhealable: Acupuncture Accelerates Wound Healing

Elias Lu, DTCM,

Acupuncture Physician

Point of Cure Acupuncture and Electromedicine in Tampa Bay, Florida

Acupuncture needles surrounding wound
  • Acupuncture can be used as an adjunct in treating chronic non-healing wounds
  • Acupuncture is safe, inexpensive, and does not require any special equipment
  • Acupuncture benefits both the local tissue and the entire body
  • Point of Cure Acupuncture and Electromedicine offers acupuncture and other natural therapies in downtown St. Pete

Chronic Wounds

Chronic non-healing wounds can cause a lot of suffering and high healthcare costs for patients. Wounds can be a result of direct trauma or can develop gradually over time due to an underlying disease such as diabetes mellitus, vascular insufficiency, or paralysis. If left untreated, chronic wounds may lead to systemic infections, limb amputations, and even death. The most common types of non-healing wounds are diabetic (foot) wounds, venous stasis ulcers, pressure ulcers, and arterial insufficiency ulcers.

 

Collaborative Wound Care

Standard therapy tends to be costly and may involve wound irrigation, debridement, dressing changes, negative pressure, infection management, position/pressure changes, and specialized nutrition. To achieve optimal results, multiple specialists must work collaboratively, including general surgeons, nutritionists, nurses, physical therapists, and vascular surgeons. Treatment oftentimes takes months requiring regular visits to a wound treatment center.

 

Acupuncture for Wound Healing

Acupuncture – a key part of Traditional Chinese Medicine – has been gaining popularity in the United States as a low-cost and safe adjunct to standard wound care leading to quicker recovery with less pain. By restoring energy flow within the body and promoting innate healing mechanisms, acupuncture can help to alleviate symptoms of multiple diseases and enhance overall well-being.

 

How Acupuncture?

Multiple studies have looked at how acupuncture can assist in wound healing. The results have surprised even such a staunch acupuncture advocate as I am. While much remains unknown, these studies suggest that acupuncture may work by:

 

Antioxidant effect

Acupuncture brings down oxidative stress by promoting the tricarboxylic acid cycle, suppressing ferroptosis, and facilitating the restoration of mitochondrial function.

 

Improved circulation

Acupuncture accelerates blood and lymphatic circulation, improving nutrient delivery to the tissues, facilitating the removal of cellular debris, and decreasing peri-wound edema.

 

Reduced inflammation

By down-regulating the proinflammatory cytokines TNF-α and IL-1β, acupuncture reduces excessive inflammation at the wound site.

 

Pain management

Acupuncture can lessen pain associated with chronic wounds by promoting the release of endorphins and activating the body's natural analgesic pathways.

 

Tissue regeneration

Acupuncture promotes the formation of healthy granulation tissue by enhancing the proliferation and migration of endogenous stem cells into the wound and stimulating fibroblast activity (collagen formation).

 

Angiogenesis

Several studies showed that acupuncture treatment applied to the wound edges promotes new blood vessel formation

 

Stress reduction

Acupuncture improves overall patient outcomes by reducing pain, stress, and anxiety, thus promoting overall well-being and quality of life.

 

In other words, acupuncture has a profound effect not only on the local tissue (where the needles are inserted) but, more importantly, on the entire body by way of nervous, endocrine, and immune systems.

 

Why Acupuncture?

Acupuncture is safe, significantly less expensive than other wound treatments (especially surgery), and can be performed in a non-medical setting, such as an acupuncture clinic or even a patient’s home.

 

Where Acupuncture?

At Point of Cure Acupuncture and Electromedicine, downtown St. Pete. Having been trained in both allopathic and Chinese medicine, I can approach wound therapy from a rational yet novel approach. I will work with (not against) your regular health care provider to help you achieve the best results in the shortest time possible. Please contact my office for a FREE trial acupuncture session.

References

Du, W., Wang, Z., Dong, Y., Hu, H., Zhou, H., He, X., Hu, J., & Li, Y. (2023). Electroacupuncture promotes skin wound repair by improving lipid metabolism and inhibiting ferroptosis. Journal of cellular and molecular medicine, 27(16), 2308–2320. https://doi.org/10.1111/jcmm.17811

 

Guo, Y., Qiao, P., Zhang, K., Sun, G., Wang, R., & Yang, X. (2024). Clinical effects of acupuncture for the treatment of pressure ulcers: A comprehensive systematic review and meta‐analysis. International Wound Journal, 21(2), e14694. https://doi.org/10.1111/iwj.14694

 

Lee, J. A., Jeong, H. J., Park, H. J., Jeon, S., & Hong, S. U. (2011). Acupuncture accelerates wound healing in burn-injured mice. Burns : journal of the International Society for Burn Injuries, 37(1), 117–125. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.burns.2010.07.005

 

Park, S. I., Sunwoo, Y. Y., Jung, Y. J., Chang, W. C., Park, M. S., Chung, Y. A., Maeng, L. S., Han, Y. M., Shin, H. S., Lee, J., & Lee, S. H. (2012). Therapeutic Effects of Acupuncture through Enhancement of Functional Angiogenesis and Granulogenesis in Rat Wound Healing. Evidence-based complementary and alternative medicine : eCAM, 2012, 464586. https://doi.org/10.1155/2012/464586

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Dr. Elias Lu, DTCM is an acupuncture physician with Point of Cure Acupuncture and Electromedicine. In practice for over 25 years, he integrates traditional Chinese medicine with modern functional therapies to help people with chronic pain, trauma, neurodegenerative disorders, anxiety, depression, and many other life's challenges.

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