Acupuncture is an ancient system (2500 Years Old) of medicine that involves insertion of sterile needles in points of the body which lie on acupuncture channels that stimulate the vital force or energy called “Qi” (pronounced “chee”). By stimulating these specific points on the meridians, it removes energetic imbalances and blockages, thereby restoring the flow of Qi and bringing harmony to the human body. Qi is the universal energy of life, it is what gives us the ability to carry out all bodily functions.
Acupuncture regulates the emotional, mental, physical, and spiritual harmony of the body by keeping the forces of yin (female aspect) and yang (male aspect) in balance. A diagnosis consists of taking a health history and symptom picture including a tongue observation and pulse analysis. In Traditional Chinese Medicine, it is believed that the outer reflects the inner and as such the tongue, pulse, signs and symptoms are all reflections of internal disharmony. These diagnostic tools together establish a clear picture of the patient’s health.
A number of research studies suggest that acupuncture is able to ease types of pain that are often chronic such as low-back pain, neck pain, and osteoarthritis/knee pain. It has also shown to reduce frequency of tension headaches and prevent migraine headaches. Here are two pathways through which Acupuncture is able to reduce pain inside the body.
- Speeding the relay of electromagnetic signals. This may begin the flow of pain-killing chemicals such as endorphins. Or it may release immune system cells in the body.
- Triggering the release of natural opioids. These are chemicals in the brain that may lessen pain or promote sleep.
The effects of acupuncture on the brain and body are just starting to be truly understood by the medical profession!