The Mystery of Acupuncture’s Beneficial Effects
Million of people in America receive acupuncture annually, and growing.
There are a variety of acupuncture techniques, those mostly used in the US incorporate traditions from China, Japan and Korea and involve penetrating the skin with a thin needle at certain points on the body.
The needle is then stimulated by hand or electrically.
Acupuncture has withstood the test of time because it works to safely relieve many common health complaints.
How it works has remained a mystery, but recently researchers learned a biochemical reaction that may be responsible for some of acupuncture’s beneficial effects.
With documented use dating back more than 2,500 years, acupuncture is based on the premise that there are more than 2,000 acupuncture points in the human body, which are connected by bioenergetic pathways called meridians.
According to traditional medicine, it is through these pathways that Qi, or energy, flows, and when the pathway is blocked the disruptions can lead to imbalances and chronic disease.
Acupuncture is proven to impact a number of chronic health conditions, and it may work, in part, by stimulating the central nervous system to release natural chemicals that alter bodily systems, pain and other biological processes.
The evidence suggests that acupuncture may also work by:
- Stimulating the conduction of electromagnetic signals, which may release immune system cells or pain-killing chemicals
- Activation of the body’s natural opioid system, which may help reduce pain or induce sleep
- Stimulation of the hypothalamus and pituitary gland, which impact numerous body systems
- Change in the secretion of neurotransmitters and neurohormones, which may positively influence brain chemistry
Should you decide to try traditional acupuncture, be aware that the success of treatment depends on the expertise of the practitioner.
There are acupuncturists that have general specialties, there are also those that specialize in different health conditions, such as pain relief, depression, infertility or neurological disorders.
Choose an acupuncturist that is experienced in your area of need who will work with to develop a plan for your healing.
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