Acupuncture is an ancient practice from traditional Chinese medicine that is used to relieve pain and other symptoms on the premise of restoring the flow of energy (“qi”) along the pathways of the body. While this explanation might seem a bit mystical to some, extensive research suggests that there is a measurable biological response to acupuncture, legitimizing its use as a form of medicine. So how does acupuncture work?
Why the skepticism?
Much of the skepticism has come from a lack of understanding in how the practice works, largely because it isn’t originally a part of Western culture. As Eastern traditional medicine practices influence Western medical treatments, researchers are studying the efficacy and hard science behind treatments like acupuncture. While we might not explain the dynamics of acupuncture in the same way, evidence strongly suggests the practice has measurable benefits.
How acupuncture works
In acupuncture, tiny needles are inserted into the skin at strategic points on the body to stimulate certain systems within the body itself. Among these:
- The release of opioid peptides in the body, acting as a natural pain reliever.
- Stimulation of the hypothalamus and pituitary gland, releasing certain hormones to affect blood flow.
- Stimulating an increase in the production of blood cells to improve immunity.
In short, acupuncture acts as a way of jumpstarting the natural bodily functions that enable the body to heal itself naturally, making it a welcome alternative to medications and other more invasive procedures. For more information about acupuncture treatments, contact Polaris Spine & Neurosurgery Center today at (404) 256-2633.