What is Acupuncture? 

 

Acupuncture is an integral part of traditional Chinese medicine dating back over 5,000 years.  The World Health Organization recognizes acupuncture as an effective treatment for more than 35 common illnesses.

 

Acupuncture is based on the concept that the body has specific channels, or called meridians, through which energy flows.  Each channel supplies energy, blood, oxygen and nutrients to specific organs, systems and tissues.  Western medicine acknowledges that there are electrical currents that traverse the body.  These electrical pathways are highways of communication between different parts of the body.  These electrical current highways are similar to the energy flow channels in Chinese medical theory. 

How does Acupuncture Work?

When there is a blockage in the flow of energy, be it from stress, physical or emotional trauma or injury, the channels become congested and we feel tension, pain or other symptoms.  A proper acupuncture treatment can guide the body to repair itself and balance the flow of energy by removing the obstacles that impede the flow of function.

Acupoints are places where the channels come close to the body’s surface.  These points have higher density of TRPV1 receptors, which are important in pain signaling.  By placing ultra thin, sterile, disposable needles in specific acupoints, acupuncture can influence the flow of electrical currents, and reduce pain as well as inflammation.  

 

In addition to treating physical pain, acupuncture can normalize physiological functions, stimulate the immune system, relieve drug and alcohol withdrawal symptoms, and aid in behavior modifications such as weight loss and smoking cessation.  In the same way, acupuncture can also be effective in reducing tension, stress, and depression.

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According to the report conducted by the World Health Organization (WHO) in 2003, acupuncture:

  • Stimulates conduction of electro-magnetic signals, which can promote immune system cells or pain-killing chemicals.

  • Activates the body’s endogenous opioid system, which may help reduce pain and induce better sleep quality.

  • Stimulates brain centers including the hypothalamus and pituitary gland, which modulate numerous body systems.

  • Changes in the secretion of neurotransmitters and endocrine hormones, which may positively affect brain chemistry.

 

Traditional Chinese Medicine, including acupuncture and Chinese herbal medicine, can improve the function of the organ systems.  It is a complete system designed to improve health and vitality, and fundamentally not merely suppress symptoms.  The core treatment methods of Chinese Medicine are targeted at improving energy and blood flow, and thereby the functions of all the body systems, including the circulatory, respiratory, digestive, excretory, nervous and endocrine systems.