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Hemorrhoids Acupuncture Treatments In Houston
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Acupuncture Treatment for Hemorrhoids

Acupuncture can provide hemorrhoid relief in many patients by doing the following:

Reducing pain

Reducing inflammatory factors

Improving circulation

Increasing expression of beneficial proteins

Reducing angiogenesis

Together, these factors can help patients suffering from either internal or external hemorrhoids and improve their quality of life.

How Can Acupuncture Treatment Help with Hemorrhoids?

Acupuncture has several beneficial effects on the body, some of which can also improve a hemorrhoid condition. Those benefits include:

  • Reducing pain severity and frequency – Hundreds of studies show that acupuncture is a proven pan reliever for a variety of health conditions. During treatment, acupuncture needles stimulate the release of endorphins and other endogenous opioids. These compounds block pain signaling like over-the-counter pain medication, providing pain relief that’s sourced right from the body. For patients where pain is a major symptom of their hemorrhoids, acupuncture can help keep it under control.

  • Reducing inflammation – Multiple studies have shown that acupuncture treatment significantly improves inflammatory markers, including tumor necrosis factor (TNF) and interleukin (IL). Both are closely associated with inflammation in a range of health conditions, including hemorrhoids. For example, research shows that acupuncture reduces the expression of TNF alpha, IL-6 and IL-17, all responsible for driving inflammatory responses.

  • Improving circulation and maintaining cardiovascular health – Ultimately, hemorrhoids are a cardiovascular condition, so part of treatment is focused on improving cardiovascular performance. Acupuncture is a proven tool in this mission, as it can modulate cardiovascular performance by controlling the release of nitric oxide. In hemorrhoid tissue, elevated levels of nitric oxide are frequently present, and this can lead to varicose veins or angiogenesis. Some researchers believe that angiogenesis is a potential root cause for hemorrhoids, and acupuncture can reduce the risk of it developing by facilitating proper blood circulation.

  • Improving expression of beneficial proteins – Animal studies show that in animals with hemorrhoids, there are notable abnormalities expressed in their connective tissues. This could be due to insufficient expression of certain proteins, including Fibulin-3 and Fibulin-5. Animal research suggests that acupuncture can improve the prevalence of these proteins, which may help preserve elastic anal tissues and protect against hemorrhoids.

  • Reducing stress and improving mindset – Acupuncture is also an effective option for stress and anxiety, as it can trigger a relaxation response in many people. Hemorrhoids cases can cause severe distress in addition to physical symptoms, which can exacerbate pain and worsen quality of life further. Acupuncture can help patients better maintain a positive perspective on their condition through acute and long-lasting stress reduction.

What Does Medical Research Say About Acupuncture and Hemorrhoids?

More research is needed to confirm acupuncture’s efficacy in hemorrhoids, but the studies that do exist demonstrate a positive link. Those studies include the following:

  • A 2023 review published in Frontiers in Pharmacology. This review looked at current hemorrhoid and acupuncture research and proposed several reasons behind the therapy’s efficacy. This included better fibulin expression, lowered matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs) expression, improved circulation and reduced angiogenesis, and improved inflammatory markers. The researchers concluded that acupuncture can provide significant results for patients, using previous clinical studies and animal models as a basis for this conclusion. The research team also concluded that acupuncture provides several beneficial effects simultaneously in patients, and that these benefits haven’t been fully explained through existing studies. The researchers stated that additional research should be focused on articulating these effects.
  • A 2018 study published in HealthCMi that looked at the connection between acupuncture treatment and hemorrhoid surgery. This study looked at 60 patients that were split into two groups – a control group that received standard postoperative care and an experimental group that received acupuncture treatments, along with medication. In the days immediately following surgery, the acupuncture group outperformed the medication-only group in postoperative anus pain, swelling and hematochezia (circulation of fresh blood to the hemorrhoid site).

More research is needed to fully explain acupuncture’s efficacy in hemorrhoids, but there are enough animal studies and case studies to suggest beneficial effects. For patients who can’t achieve relief with medication or behavioral changes alone, acupuncture can serve as a viable adjunct therapy.

Does Acupuncture Cause Pain or Discomfort?

The majority of patients tolerate acupuncture very well. The most common post-treatment effects may include some minor pain, discomfort and bruising. Acupuncture needles are extremely thin and designed to produce minimal discomfort when inserted into the skin.

At Houston Acupuncture, we take steps to make your appointment as comfortable as possible. Every appointment begins with a thorough examination to check your overall health and determine the best approach to acupuncture treatment. Following the examination, the patient is led to a treatment room and instructed to lie down on the acupuncture table. We will then target the right acupuncture points and insert a fine-gauge needle into each point.

Once the needles are inserted, we leave the room and give the patient some time to rest while the needles do their job. This typically takes 30-60 minutes. The next step is carefully removing the needles to minimize risk of discomfort.

Most patients report feeling relaxed throughout the process and following treatment.

Anyone Suffering with Hemorrhoids Should Consider the Benefits of Acupuncture

Most hemorrhoid patients are recommended medicine, lifestyle changes, and other conservative forms of treatment. This approach works for some people, but many achieve only partial relief from their hemorrhoid symptoms. For these patients, acupuncture can provide another avenue for relief.

To get the most from your hemorrhoid treatment, consider working with a board-certified physician who is also certified in acupuncture. Houston Acupuncture features a dual-certified practitioner that can provide the best of western and Chinese medicine, ensuring patients receive the broadest and most effective therapies.

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