How does acupuncture work?
Currently, there are a number of theories as to how exactly acupuncture works. It was once thought that inserting needles into specific parts of the body affected nerves and could inhibit their signal transmission. This was thought to explain why acupuncture could treat pain so well. But when doctors mapped the acupuncture points over the known nerve network they found that there was some correlation, but not nearly enough to explain most of its effects. Another theory stated that acupuncture stimulates the release of opioids and endorphins in the central nervous system. Although this could explain certain analgesic effects, it could not explain many others.
The most current theory speculates that acupuncture points are actually strategic conductors of electromagnetic signals throughout the body. Stimulating points along these pathways influences neurotransmitter rates and resets the polarity of different parts of the body. This latest theory is by far the most comprehensive and most promising explanation for why acupuncture works in Western medical terminology.
There are both eastern and western medical theories to help explain why acupuncture works. Western medicine currently has several theories on the efficacy of acupuncture.
What is the process?
In the simplist of terms, fine needles are inserted into specific acupuncture points that cause the body to release its own natural endorphins which can block pain message to the brain. In addition, the needles can also cause blood, oxygen and white blood cells to rush to the tissue facilitating healing. For thousands of years, Chinese Medicine has thought that energy or Qi travels the body thru pathways called meridians. When the flow becomes obstructed due to injury, emotional stress, life-style or personal imbalances, disease is thought to arise.
Through the insertion of sterile acupuncture needles, blockages are removed which allows the energy to flow smoothly again returning balance and health to the body’s system. The proper flow of energy or Qi in the body helps to warm, nourish, and invigorate cells and tissue. Acupuncture helps to stimulate the body’s own natural abilities to heal itself.