Are you suffering from spider veins? Have you tried acupuncture for spider veins?
If someone told me a year ago that it was possible to get rid of Spider veins. I wouldn't have believed him or her. For about two years, I suffered from spider veins in both legs. This condition is a milder form of varicose veins.
The condition prevented me from rocking my shorts in summer since the veins in my legs always looked black or blue sometimes. At first, they were not painful, but as the condition progressed, I experienced a burning sensation in my legs, heaviness, tiredness, weakness, and even cramps.
Did I seek medical help? Yes, I did, but my options we not so good. My doctor presented me with two options: laser surgery and surgery. Neither sat well with me. So I broadened my search and looked into other treatment options. That's where I come across an article about acupuncture for varicose veins and spider veins.
Acupuncture And Varicose Veins
Acupuncture is part of Traditional Chinese Medicine with a history spanning for decades. It has no side effects and works effectively on varicose veins and spider veins.
I gave this treatment a chance, and the results were amazing. I visited Jane, a licensed acupuncturist in my area, who received her training in China. She knew exactly what she was doing, and she was gentle. For someone who hates needles, I was quite confident in her skills.
After the first sessions, I decided to get Jane's view on acupuncture and varicose veins. According to Jane, spider veins and varicose veins are caused by stagnant blood in the veins. The stagnant blood blocks blood vessels and veins, just like a blockage in a water pipe.
Many factors can cause stagnant blood, including obesity, improper diet, age, heredity, pregnancy, and long periods of standing and walking.
If you don't mind, let me dive deeper into these factors so you can see how they associate with our conditions.
Causes Of Spider Veins And Varicose Veins:
- Obesity of extra weight: The heavier you are, the more pressure is applied to your veins. That's why spider veins are quite common in overweight people or pregnant women who've gained weight.
- Heredity: Most families have weak valves, a trait that's often passed on from one generation to another.
- Inactivity: Veins usually work harder when you sit, stand, or walk for long periods.
- Smoking: Smoking makes it hard for blood to circulate properly through your veins. When circulation is impaired, blood vessels swell and spider veins form.
- Age: Old age comes with a lot of changes like the weakening of the veins. When the veins are weak, spider veins can quickly develop.
- Hormonal changes: Hormonal changes associated with pregnancy, puberty, and menopause can lead to the development of spider veins or varicose veins. Birth control that contains progesterone and estrogen can also contribute to these conditions. Hormonal changes can weaken the walls of blood vessels and veins, blocking the flow of blood, hence contributing to spider vein development.
Does Acupuncture Help Varicose Veins?
The truth is, I was skeptical at first to try acupuncture. The question "Does Acupuncture help varicose veins" crossed my mind repeatedly. But after about 15 successful acupuncture sessions, I can assure you this treatment is effective.
In my first acupuncture session, Jane inserted several needles at different points in my body. According to her, the needles force the stagnant blood to move into the surrounding blood vessels and blocked vessels.
The acupoints coordinate the organs to enhance the flow of Qi and blood to the blocked area, just like how a blocked water pipe is opened by a forceful supply of water. Once the blockage is addressed, blood and energy flow gets improved, and the body's immune system gets strengthened.
The acupuncture protocol for varicose veins and spider veins is not as painful as I imagined. I experienced a little pinprick sensation when Jane inserted the needles. When they were in, I experienced the sensation of weariness and electrical stimulation along the meridians.
These feelings disappeared after the treatment. Jane said some patients might also feel some heaviness or itchiness in the needled points. But this is a normal reaction because the stagnant blood in the veins and blood vessels begin to move.
However, the blood will not circulate because of insufficient blood supply. That's why I had to continue with the rest of the 14 sessions, so the stagnant blood in the veins and peripheral blood vessels could completely clear off via increased blood flow.
After the first session, my legs looked the same, but after six more, the black and blue colors started getting lighter. My veins were now filled with clean blood because the blockage was completely removed. After my 15th session, my veins regained their flexibility and elasticity, and my spider veins had completely disappeared.
So if you're struggling with the question, "can acupuncture help varicose veins?". Then I think I have answered your question.
After acupuncture treatment, the burning sensation and cramps will get alleviated. You'll notice significant improvement after 3-4 treatments, depending on the severalty of the condition. The more the treatment you have, the more your varicose veins or spider veins will disappear.
Acupoints For Spider Veins And Varicose Veins
As I mentioned above, Jane placed the needles at specific points in my body. What I didn't mention are the exact points they were inserted.
To address that inconvenience here's is a list of acupoints that help to ease both varicose veins and spider veins. I have also mentioned a few steps on how to massage legs with varicose veins or apply acupressure.
1. Acupoint: Liv-3 (Other Names: Liver-3/Tai Chong/Supreme Rush)
Tai Chong is located on the top side of your foot. It's the soft fleshy part between your big toe and second toe. Move your finger towards your ankle to the place where your bones start, or your first and second metatarsals. Acupuncture or acupressure, to this point, reduced stress and helps in the circulation of Qi and blood via the arteries and veins.
2. Acupoint: SP-6 (Other Names: Spleen-6/San Yin Jiao/Three Yin Intersection)
This acupoint is located four finger widths right above the inner ankle bone, on the left or right leg. It's the tender part of your lower calf muscle, found at the right-back of your tibia or shin bone.
At the back of our kneecap, we have the popliteal artery that gives rise to our posterior tibia artery. The artery travels down to the back of the leg, supplying fresh blood to all the tissues in the leg and the foot. You can promote blood flow from this artery by applying gentle pressure to SP-6.
Apply pressure to this point, gently using your thumb until you feel soreness. Hold for about 3 minutes. Yin Jio helps to increase tone in the body and support digestion. It also promotes oxygen and nutrient flow.
3. Acupoint: ST-36 (Other Names: Stomach-36/Zu San Li/Leg Three Miles)
Stomach-36 has positioned about four finger widths below the kneecap, one finger width on the outside of your tibia. Locate the right spot by feeling the muscle contraction when moving your ankle joint up and down.
Apply pressure gently to Stomach-36 with your thumb for 3-5 minutes until you feel a little soreness. This acupoint is perfect for energy, tone, and supporting digestion in the body.
If the varicose veins are severe, your acupuncturist might need to perform the 7-plum-needles tapping treatment. This might lead to minor bleeding on your skin surface to allow the stagnant blood to flow out.
Sometimes the acupuncturist might give you oral herbal pills and tablets to boost the body's blood circulation. There are also herbal decoctions, which you can use to soak and wash the affected areas to speed the healing process.
Other Remedies for Varicose Veins and Spider Veins
Apart from acupuncture and acupressure, there are several different remedies for both varicose and spider veins. They include:
Cupping therapy is considered the most effective and safer method of getting rid of varicose or spider veins than conventional treatments.
The glass cups cause suction on the skin around varicose and spider veins. The suction from the cups causes oxygen and fresh blood to get drawn to the affected area.
The fresh blood and oxygen that comes to the affected area forces away from the stagnant deoxygenated blood. After a couple of sessions, the dark veins will lighten, and if there was swelling, it would reduce. The body will then get rid of the debris of stagnant blood after cupping therapy.
- How To Use Cupping For Varicose Veins | Everything You Need To Know
- Can Cupping Cause Spider Veins Or Make Spider Veins Worse?
In most pharmacies, you can find compression socks. They ease varicose veins by applying pressure to the legs. As a result, the muscles and veins in the legs move blood toward the heart.
According to a 2018 study, individuals who use knee-high compression socks with a pressure of 18 to 21mmHg for a week will experience a reduction in the pain and discomfort associated with varicose veins.
Sodium-rich or salty foods can make the body retain water, so reducing the intake of salty food can control water retention. Food rich in potassium can help to reduce varicose and spider veins by reducing water retention.
Food rich in potassium includes:
- Lentils and white beans
- Leafy vegetables
- Fish, like tuna and salmon.
Consuming foods rich in fiber can improve bowel movement, hence preventing constipation. This is crucial since straining can worsen damage valves.
Food rich in fiber includes:
- Whole-grain foods
Spider veins and varicose veins cause discomfort and can make you self-conscious. I know this firsthand. But this doesn't mean you can't treat it.
If there's anything my personal experience has taught me is that anything is possible. So if you're suffering from spider veins or varicose veins, try acupuncture today. Trust me! You won't be disappointed.
However, consulting your doctor will help you make an informed decision about the right treatment.