The art of pressing needles into the skin originated from ancient China, where it was used to treat a long list of ailments. Acupuncture has been around for over two and a half millennia, and according to recent research, it may be more effective than was previously thought.
How Does It Work?
Acupuncture is a minimally invasive type of therapy. It involves the use of needles to stimulate nerve clusters under the skin, a process that influences not only body functions, but also the well-being of surrounding glands, organs, and tissues.
In acupuncture, each needle is used to create tiny wounds on the skin. These injuries are too small to cause any pain or discomfort, but they are
enough to elicit a response from the immune system. The injured area receives special attention from the immune system in the form of better circulation and pain modulation, and the immune system prepares to initiate the wound-healing process.
Why Is Acupuncture So Effective?
We are yet to understand how acupuncture works at a molecular level. What we know for certain is that it does have a positive impact on health and well-being.
Acupuncture is most effective when used to treat chronic pain and nausea. For the longest time, its primary use was to relieve pain in the head, neck, and back.
In ancient China, acupuncture was believed to restore the flow of qi, a type of energy that supposedly coursed through and animated the human body. Back then, it was believed that disruptions in the flow of qi caused illness.
Today’s acupuncture treatments are not based on the same principles. One of the most popular theories about why acupuncture works suggest that the needles stimulate the nerves, which in turn signal the brain to release beta-Endorphins.
Beta-Endorphins are the feel-good hormones responsible for the euphoric feeling acupuncture patients get after sessions. It also increases the body’s pain thresholds, which explains why it is an effective treatment for chronic pain.
Another theory suggests that acupuncture works by reducing pro-inflammatory markers. Certain areas of the body, for instance, an area below the knee known as stomach 36, is known to have this anti-inflammatory response when stimulated.
Acupuncture is also used to help cancer patients manage some of the side effects of cancer treatments. It can alleviate chemotherapy-induced nausea as well as peripheral neuropathy, a similar chemo-induced condition that’s characterized by numbness in the extremities. It allegedly does this by stimulating the brain into producing nerve growth factors, which promote nerve healing and regeneration.
Who Needs Acupuncture?
At Acupuncture Continuum, we believe that everyone could use the rewarding benefits of this therapy. Nevertheless, most of our patients come to us seeking comfort from never-ending pain, discomfort, and persistent hormonal issues. Our door is always open for you if you suffer from any of the following conditions:
•Chronic pain – Headaches, migraines, pain in the neck, back, and knees, whether induced by injuries or preexisting conditions, can be alleviated by acupuncture therapy.
•Hormonal imbalances – acupuncture provokes a homeostatic response, so it is quite effective when dealing with incessant menstrual cramps and intense pre and post-menstrual symptoms brought on by hormonal issues.
•Nausea – whether chemo-induced or brought on by pregnancy, acupuncture can be used to manage nausea.
•Sprains – moderately injured joints respond well to acupuncture treatments, which expedites the healing process while reducing pain.
Visit Acupuncture Continuum in Encinitas to get quality acupuncture treatments from a certified, skilled, and experienced acupuncturist.