What is Acupuncture?
Acupuncture is the medical practice of inserting micro-fine needles into specific points on the body to promote health and combat disease. It is an essential part of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) and has been used for over 3000 years to treat and prevent illness around the world.
The hair-thin needles are FDA approved medical devices and are professionally sterilized and non-toxic. Each needle is used only once and then disposed of immediately after treatment.
Acupuncture is endorsed by the World Health organization and the National Institutes of Health (NIH) for the treatment of many different disorders.
Click here to learn more about Acupuncture from the National Institute of Health.
Click here for more information on clinical trials of Acupuncture from the World Health Organization.
Benefits of Acupuncture:
Acupuncture can decrease inflammation to reduce pain and stiffness in muscles, fascia and joints. By promoting micro-circulation, acupuncture can increase the flexibility of tendons, ligaments and muscles as well as speed up healing for chronic and acute injuries.
Acupuncture stimulates the release of the body's own natural endorphins and neurotransmitters. This helps decrease pain, stress, anxiety, depression and fatigue. It also helps promote a feeling of physical, mental and emotional balance and well-being.
Acupuncture strengthens the immune system and regulates hormones. This is why it is often used to treat women's and men's health issues, infertility, menopause, allergies and the side effects of cancer treatments.
Acupuncture improves the function of the digestive system by regulating intestinal muscle contraction, digestive secretion, enzyme production and absorption of fluids and nutrients.
How does Acupuncture work?
Acupuncture can be explained using both traditional theories and modern medical theories.
According to traditional Chinese medical theory, there is a continuous flow of vital energy in the body called Qi (pronounced Chee). This vital energy flows through pathways in the body called meridians or channels. If the flow of Qi is obstructed, or there is a shortage of Qi in a meridain, then illness and pain result. Acupuncture works to rebalance the flow of energy in the channels by using specific points on the body to remove obstructions in the flow of Qi, or to supplement Qi insufficiency. Every acupuncture point has a specific function and is selected according to each patient’s presenting symptoms and diagnosis. This allows the treatment to be tailored to the specific needs of each patient. Using these methods, acupuncturists are able to utilize the body’s own healing abilities to promote and restore its natural state of health, harmony and balance.
According to current medical research, acupuncture works through stimulation of the nervous system. Functional MRI studies show that when an acupuncture needle is inserted, there is a response by the nerve centers in the brain and spinal cord. This response includes the activation of complex neuro-hormonal pathways in the body that affect pain perception, as well as the regulation of both the sympathetic and parasympathetic divisions of the nervous system, which are responsible for regulating activity of the internal organs and glands. Other neuroimaging studies show that acupuncture has a calming effect on areas of the brain that register pain, and activates other areas involved in rest and recuperation. Doppler ultrasound shows that acupuncture increases blood flow in treated areas. Thermal imaging shows that it can make inflammation subside. Acupuncture also produces a positive effect on the musculoskeletal system by reducing muscle spasms, increasing circulation and de-sensitizing over-reactive nerves in the spinal cord. As interest in acupuncture grows in the United States, more research and clinical investigation will help to further the scientific understanding of the physiological mechanisms of acupuncture.
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