Can Acupuncture Treat Thyroid Disease?

It can affect people of any age, but women are more likely to be affected because it often runs in families and is also the result of iodine deficiency. While traditional treatments often focus on medications and surgery, oriental treatments like acupuncture can effectively control thyroid problems. While acupuncture has many applications, it has been shown to be particularly effective in providing a safe and natural treatment for all forms of hormonal imbalance.

What is thyroid?

The thyroid is a butterfly-shaped gland located in the front of the neck. The gland is responsible for metabolism, energy, hormone regulation, body weight, and blood calcium levels. It is one of the endocrine glands that produces hormones.

Hyperthyroidism and hypothyroidism

Hyperthyroidism, or an overactive thyroid, occurs when the thyroid gland produces too much of the hormone thyroxine. Similarly, hypothyroidism, or an underactive thyroid, is a condition in which the thyroid gland does not produce enough of certain important thyroid hormones.

Here are the symptoms of hyperthyroidism and hypothyroidism:


  • Losing weight despite eating well

  • Increased heart rate, higher blood pressure, heart palpitations, nervousness and profuse sweating

  • Frequent bowel movements, sometimes accompanied by diarrhea

  • Muscle weakness

  • Menstruation is shorter or lighter

  • Development of a goiter (enlargement in the neck)


  • Coma, depression or slower mental processes

  • Increased sensitivity to cold

  • Reduce heart rate

  • Numbness or tingling in the hands

  • Constipation

  • Heavy menstrual bleeding or dry hair and skin

Hormones are like messengers in the body responsible for many functions, such as monitoring sleep cycle regulation, emotional health, reproduction, physical growth, metabolism, mental acuity , body temperature, immune system and energy levels. When they are out of balance, all the systems of the body can be adversely affected. Volatility may be a natural occurrence, but long-term imbalances are not. That’s why it’s important to get a diagnosis by testing thyroid hormone levels in the blood.

How does acupuncture help?

According to the philosophy of traditional Chinese medicine, most diseases stem from an imbalance of the vital energies of the body and mind. “Qi” can be defined as vital energy, which flows along pathways through the body known as “meridians”. It must be kept strong and flowing freely. If Qi is weak or the meridians are blocked, certain organs will not receive the nourishment they need, and disease will result.

Acupuncture is a process that involves inserting very thin needles into the skin at specific points on the body in coordination with specific Qi pathways. By targeting these meridians or pathways, an acupuncture practitioner aims to bring back the balance, disruption of Qi believed to be the cause of thyroid disorders or other symptoms of sick.

According to the British Acupuncture Council, acupuncture can treat thyroid disease in several ways, such as:

  • Decreased thyroid hormone levels in patients with hyperthyroidism

  • Increased thyroid hormone levels in people with hypothyroidism

  • Reduces sensitivity to stress and pain, as well as promotes relaxation

  • Improves joint mobility and muscle stiffness by increasing blood circulation in small blood vessels

  • Enhances the release of the chemical adenosine, which reduces pain sensitivity

  • Reduces inflammation by helping to release immune and vascular regulatory factors

Along with acupuncture, certain lifestyle changes such as a diet rich in calcium, protein, magnesium, and iodine will help support thyroid function. In addition, certain foods called goitrogens can interfere with thyroid hormone production and should be limited. These include cruciferous vegetables (for example, cabbage, cauliflower and Brussels sprouts), soybeans, and peanuts. Stress-relieving exercises such as yoga or tai chi may also be helpful.

Source: IANS

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