Chronic venous insufficiency (CVI) refers to a condition in which blood in the leg veins fails to flow back to the heart properly. When these valves don’t function well, blood begins to pool in the legs and can cause swelling, pain, cramps, and varicose veins. While CVI on its own does not pose a significant health threat, it can be either a symptom or cause of deep vein thrombosis. Moreover, symptoms of poor circulation can be painful and lead to unwanted varicose veins. As acupuncture is widely known as an effective way to improve circulation, seeking treatment may also treat varicose veins.
Chronic Venous Insufficiency (CVI) and Varicose Veins
Chronic venous insufficiency has several causes, including high blood pressure, lack of exercise, smoking, standing for long periods of time, deep vein thrombosis, or swelling of a leg vein close to the skin (known as phlebitis). CVI tends to affect more women than men, especially women who’ve had multiple pregnancies. As CVI progresses, symptoms become more pronounced, moving from minor edema to changes in skin pigmentation and pronounced varicose veins (veins that appear lumpy and dark in color). While varicose veins themselves do not pose a serious threat to your health, many people want to make them less visible and take steps to improve their overall circulation.
Acupuncture’s Effect on Promoting Circulation
For centuries, acupuncture has been used to encourage blood flow and improve circulation. In 1996, the World Health Organization (WHO) noted that acupuncture offers several benefits in managing pain and treating neurological disorders, dermatological conditions, respiratory disorders, and more. One study concluded that acupuncture “augments systemic gastrointestinal and circulatory functions.” According to another evaluation of acupuncture’s effects on blood flow, “acupuncture can affect blood flow of the peripheral, mesenteric, and retrobulbar arteries.” These findings indicate the beneficial effects that acupuncture can have on the circulatory system.
A Natural Way to Treat Varicose Veins
Although there are no clinical trials exploring acupuncture’s impact on addressing varicose veins and CVI, a few reported case studies show promising results. A male patient with swollen legs and varicose veins received acupuncture treatment, which reduced the patient’s pain and cyanosis, while an older male patient found much-needed relief from chronic venous leg ulcers after receiving acupuncture. Additionally, after eight acupuncture treatment sessions, a female patient experienced reduced physical and emotional discomfort associated with varicose veins. For those seeking to improve CVI symptoms and reduce varicose vein discomfort and visibility, acupuncture may offer a natural and effective way to boost circulation and find relief.
Inner Works Acupuncture offers personalized acupuncture therapy sessions to improve circulation and promote healing. Call our NW Portland office today at (503) 227-2127 to schedule an appointment.