How Does Acupuncture Work?
To put it simply acupuncture works by:
- Increasing blood circulation to promote healing.
- Relaxing tight muscles and releasing trigger points that cause pain, constrict nerves and blood circulation, and even internal problems such digestive problems.
- Stimulating the nervous system to function properly.
- Releasing hormones and brain chemicals, subsequently bringing the body’s hormones into balance.
- Offering a general calming effect and reducing our reactions to stress, it calms people temporarily and possibly protects us from the damage of both acute and chronic stress over extended periods of time.
- Reducing inflammation locally and throughout the body, especially in pain patients, it appears that acupuncture reduces inflammation and promotes healing.
- Acupuncture’s ability to treat the detrimental effects of chronic systemic inflammation (fibromyalgia, parkinson’s, heart disease, diabetes, and others) must be related to offsetting these systemic responses.
A Western Explanation
Modern science explains that inserting acupuncture needles in the acupuncture points stimulates the nervous system to release chemicals in the muscles, spinal cord, and brain. These chemicals will either change the experience of pain, or they will trigger the release of other chemicals and hormones which influence the body’s own internal regulating system to influence healing.
The improved biochemical balance produced by acupuncture stimulates the body’s natural healing abilities, and in promoting physical and emotional well-being.
Classical Chinese Theory
The classical Chinese theory is that energy (Qi) flows through channels (meridians) throughout the body and over its surface. The meridians, are like rivers flowing through the body to irrigate and nourish the tissues. An obstruction in the flow of Qi is like a blocked dam.
The flow of Qi within the meridians can be influenced by inserting needles into acupuncture points; the acupuncture needles unblock obstructions at the dams and reestablish the regular flow through the meridians. Acupuncture treatments can therefore help the body’s internal organs to correct imbalances in their digestion, absorption, and energy production activities, and in the circulation of their energy through the meridians.
Regardless of the theories used to explain its effects, it is widely agreed that acupuncture provides highly beneficial health results.