For people who suffer from excessive sweating, a condition called hyperhidrosis, acupuncture may offer relief and help them avoid more invasive medical procedures or medications. Using acupuncture for sweating can be particularly beneficial because a trained acupuncturist should be able to evaluate the person's particular situation and design a treatment plan to address the specific issues he or she has. The technique may be used to directly affect an overactive sympathetic nervous system, which can directly cause excessive sweating, or for other conditions of which sweating is just a symptom. Acupuncture can also help relieve stress and decrease anxiety, which can exacerbate or even trigger problems with sweating too much.
One of the main benefits of acupuncture is that it offers an alternative to medical treatments, which can involve exposure to chemicals, drugs, or even surgery. Hyperhidrosis sufferers using traditional medical treatments may be exposed to strong chemicals in antiperspirants or risk side effects from using prescription drugs. In extreme cases, surgery may even be recommended to stop the activity of the sympathetic nerve, a procedure called endoscopic thoracic surgery. These treatments can not only be invasive or unpleasant, but may also o not explore the particular situation of each patient.
The application of acupuncture for sweating depends on the underlying cause of the issue. Those who have primary hyperhidrosis sweat excessively for no known reason, though the condition is thought to result from overactivity of the sympathetic nervous system. Others may suffer from secondary hyperhidrosis, where their sweating is caused by another disease or condition such as hyperthyroidism. One of the main reasons that acupuncture can be extremely effective as a form of treatment for sweating is that the practitioner will evaluate what is causing it prior to treatment. He or she will then apply needles to the appropriate nerve points, or dermatomes, to address that specific problem, as opposed to simply giving the same treatment to everyone.
Using acupuncture for sweating can also help address an issue that often contributes to the problem, namely stress. For some people, feeling anxious or stressed can trigger an attack. For others, it may simply make the problem worse. Excessive sweating can also make sufferers feel more anxiety as it can be uncomfortable and embarrassing. Used properly, acupuncture can help balance the body's energy and reduce the stress a patient is feeling, which can lead to decreased sweating, and therefore even less stress from worrying about it.