ACUPUNCTURE

"The fact that Traditional Chinese Medicine has existed for thousands of years and is still used today is a testament to its value as a form of health care."

What is it & how does it work?

Acupuncture utilizes hair-thin needles to stimulate specific points on the body, inducing a natural healing response. Though it's most known for treating pain, acupuncture alters various physiological and biochemical conditions in the body and can therefore be used to treat most things you'd commonly visit your doctor for. 

Acupuncture is a part of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), a sophisticated holistic system of medicine dating back over 3,000 years. It acknowledges the vital life force energy, or "qi" flowing through every organism via "meridians" that run throughout the body. TCM understands the connection between the mind, body and spirit and treats the whole person and the underlying root cause of a disease, rather than merely addressing individual symptoms. TCM encompasses more well-known treatment therapies, like acupuncture, cupping and herbal medicine, as well as lesser-known modalities, like gua sha, tui na, and moxibustion, and, through an individualized diagnosis and treatment plan, utilizes these tools to bring the body back into balance.

Based on studies & clinical research, acupuncture works by...

  • Stimulating inhibitory nerve fibers that effectively reduce the transmission of nociceptive pain signals to the brain, via the spinal cord. (1)

  • Activating parts of the brain, stimulating the secretions of serotonin, norepinephrine, and the neurons which transmit γ-aminobutyric acid, which produces a beneficial effect in treating depression, anxiety, and addiction. (2)

  • Triggering the production of endorphins in cerebrospinal fluid (3), creating a direct effect in the up-regulation of μ-opioid receptor binding availability in the central nervous system, which helps to reduce sensations of pain. (4)

 

  • Influencing the autonomic system, thus affecting an array of functions, like respiration, heart rate, blood pressure, circulation and immune function. (5) (6)

  • Affecting "the electrical systems" within the body, creating or enhancing closed-circuit transport in tissues, which would allow for a healing transfer between normal and injured tissues. (7)

  • Affecting the blood concentration of triglycerides, cholesterol, and phospholipids, thereby regulating the body toward homeostasis. (8)

report from the World Health Organization (WHO) recommends acupuncture for over 100 conditions, and has stated that acupuncture has been “proven effective” for many conditions, including low back pain, sciatica, headaches and rheumatoid arthritis.

Woman Receiving Acupuncture

What can it treat?

Acupuncture has been proven effective for promoting relaxation and treating:​​

  • Insomnia / Sleep Issues

  • Stress

  • Allergies & Asthma

  • Pain & Injuries

  • Balancing Hormones

  • Infertility & Reproductive Health

  • Anxiety & Depression

  • Migraines

  • Digestive Issues & Weight Gain

  • Fatigue

  • High Blood Pressure

  • Skin Issues

  • Facial Rejuvenation

  ... and more!

References:

  1. Anatomy of Neuro-Anatomical Acupuncture, Volume 1, Wong, Dr. J., 1999, p. 34.

  2. Neuro-acupuncture, “Scientific evidence of acupuncture revealed”, Cho, ZH., et al., 2001.v

  3. Johnson C. Acupuncture works on endorphins. ABC Science Online. http://www.abc.net.au/science/articles/1999/06/04/27924.htm. Accessed January 2, 2013.

  4. Harris RE, Zubieta JK, Scott DJ, Napadow V, Gracely RH, Clauw DJ. Traditional Chinese acupuncture and placebo (sham) acupuncture are differentiated by their effects on mu-opioid receptors (MORs). Neuroimage. 2009 Sep;47(3):1077-85. doi: 10.1016/j.neuroimage.2009.05.083. Epub 2009 Jun 6. PMID: 19501658; PMCID: PMC2757074.

  5. Acupuncture – A scientific appraisal, Ernst, E., White, A., 1999, p. 74.

  6. Andersson S, Lundeberg T. Acupuncture--from empiricism to science: functional background to acupuncture effects in pain and disease. Med Hypotheses. 1995 Sep;45(3):271-81. doi: 10.1016/0306-9877(95)90117-5. PMID: 8569551.

  7. Acupuncture Energetics, “A Clinical Approach for Physicians”, Helms, Dr. J., 1997, pgs 41-42, 66.

  8. Neuro-acupuncture, “Scientific evidence of acupuncture revealed”, Cho, ZH., et al., 2001.v