Welcome to my blog, discover acupuncture with Dr Maggie Ju

Qualified as a medical doctor in Western medicine in China with a Medical degree from Beijing, China and a PhD degree from the UK. Many year research and clinical experiences. This blog is for information only.

Monday, 14 November 2022

Why are you retaining water? Acupuncture can help reduce water retention.

The body is mostly made up with water. It distributed in the blood, muscles, organs and even bones. Sometimes the body holds on to too much of water at particular places causing water retention which feels puffiness and swelling.

The circulatory system including blood circulation and the lymphatic system, the kidneys, hormonal factors, and other bodily systems all help maintain healthy fluid levels.

Water retention occurs when there is a problem with one or more of the body’s mechanisms for maintaining fluid levels. The main symptoms are swelling and discomfort. Water retention can be found in the legs, ankles, feet, the abdomen and chest as well as the face and hands. The symptoms of fluid retention will depend on the area it affects.

If it is in the limbs, feet, and hands, symptoms can be swelling, changes in skin color, shiny or puffy skin, areas of skin that remain indented when pushed in with a finger, aches and tenderness in the limbs, stiffness in the joints, weight gain. If it is in the abdomen and face, the symptoms can be bloating, puffiness of the abdomen, face, and hips, weight fluctuations. You could feel heavier than usual.

Water retention can be a common issue or a sign of a health condition. Acupuncture can help when not caused by a serious health condition.

Interstitial fluid flow is the movement of fluid through the extracellular matrix of tissues, often between blood and lymphatic vessels. System circulation (blood circulation) is the part of the cardiovascular system. It carries the water around the body. The lymphatic system is a part of the circulatory system.

The lymphatic system is responsible for maintaining the balance of the body fluids. Its network of capillaries and collecting lymphatic vessels work to efficiently drain and transport the fluid, along with proteins and antigens, back to the circulatory system. The lymphatic system is not closed system and the vessel walls are not as strong as blood vessels. If the circulation is blocked for various reasons, for example, there is tension on the body, the transportation is disturbed and the fluids cannot be drained properly causing water retention

Acupuncture improves blood circulation, and this was proved by scientific research. For example, Sandberg et al investigated the effects of acupuncture on skin and muscle blood flow. Blood flow recordings were performed intermittently from 10 min prior to the intervention to the end of the trial. They found that skin and muscle blood flow increased after acupuncture stimulation. Another example Kuo et al also studied the effect of acupuncture on skin blood flow. After acupuncture treatment skin blood flow and skin temperature increased.

Acupuncture improves blood flow and the movement of fluid of lymphatic system through the body and the acupuncture needle changes the interstitial microenvironment. This helps reduce water retention and decrease joint inflammation, welling of limbs, and stabilise the weight.

References
Wei Yao et al Evid Based Complement Alternat Med. 2012: 853516.
Sandberg et al Eur Appl Physiol (2003) 90:114-9
Kuo et al Am J Chin Med (2004) 32 :117-29

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