Acupuncture is a therapy, which stimulates the body’s natural energy and ability to heal by placing sterilized, disposable needles on precise points of the body.
These points are located along specific pathways or merdians of flowing Qi (vital energy) and vital substances, like blood. When the Qi and vital substances are flowing freely, they nourish every cell of our body to maintain optimal health. When the flow of Qi is absent, excessive, interrupted, or blocked in an area, health is disrupted resulting in pain and illness. By stimulating the acupuncture points along the meridians, qi is released and regulated, restoring health.
Acupuncture has several main effects, which encourage the body's innate ability to heal itself.
Acupuncture promotes blood flow in the body. Blood contains everything the body needs to heal itself, including oxygen, nutrients from food, immune substances, hormones, natural pain killers, and anti-inflammatory agents. Restoring proper blood flow is essential to regaining and maintaining optimal health.
Acupuncture stimulates the body’s inherent healing mechanism. By inserting needles into the skin and underlying tissue, acupuncture creates micro-traumas, which stimulate the body’s ability to heal through nervous, immune, and endocrine system activation. As the body heals these micro-traumas, any old injuries to the surrounding tissue are healed as well.
Acupuncture relieves pain by stimulating the release of natural painkillers. By inserting a needle, the body sends a message via the nervous system to the brain, releasing chemicals such as endorphins, norepinephrine, and enkephlin. Studies show that some of these substances can be 10-200x more potent than morphine.
Acupuncture relaxes tight muscles, which releases pressure on joint structures and nerves and promotes blood flow.
Perhaps one the most important effects of acupuncture is it’s ability to reduce stress. Recent research has indicated that acupuncture is shown to stimulate the release of oxytocin. Oxytocin is a hormone that helps aid in the regulation of the parasympathetic nervous system. Most people have heard of the fight-or-flight response controlled by the sympathetic nervous system. The parasympathetic response is the opposite and is often referred to as “rest-and-digest.” According to one article, research has implicated that impaired parasympathetic function is responsible for many autoimmune diseases, including lupus, arthritis, and IBS.