Acupuncture- How Does It Work

We often have people ask us how acupuncture works, what it treats and why it can be beneficial.  Here is a summary of the basics of these questions.  Please give the office a call for more information or other questions about acupuncture.

Acupuncture uses a physical stimulation of various points using very thin needles.  These points are in locations throughout the body and are used in different combinations to promote healing.  The needles are inserted into the skin and stimulate nerves to send signals to the brain.  The brain is then triggered to release hormones, which in turn can decrease the pain and give the patients a relaxed and happy feeling.  Acupuncture uses the philosophy of balancing yin and yang to create a healthy body.  This allows energy, or qi, to flow through the body and prevent pain, dysfunction and illness. By using combinations of the points acupuncture can affect the nervous system, immune system, digestive system, vascular system and endocrine system.

Acupuncture is well known for how it can help with pain.  When the needles stimulate the nerves, they send signals to the brain to produce extra hormones.  These hormones increase pain thresholds, decrease pain receptors, and reduce inflammatory markers.  The American College of Physicians recommends trying acupuncture along with chiropractic care and yoga for treatment options of pain before surgery and to avoid to use of opioids.  While acupuncture is great for treatment of pain, it also has benefits for anxiety, improved blood flow, relaxation, increased energy, hormone imbalances, improved sleep, reproductive issues, nerve regeneration and so much more.   These work similarly to the treatment of pain in that the body sends signals to the brain to send hormones to the areas being treated.  For instance; when working with someone who has weakness, numbness, or tingling in the hands or feet, using acupuncture needles to stimulate the brain to secrete nerve growth factor and help with the regeneration of nerves.   The stimulation of blood flow is helpful in numerous different conditions because it plays a large role in the general healing process.   Balancing hormones, another benefit, contributes to reproductive health.  This can help with fertility and pregnancy, pain (such with PCOS) and even stimulation of labor for over due or late stage pregnancies.

Acupuncture is something we consider a valuable addition to our office and have seen it help numerous patients.  Please call the office and talk to our staff about how it can help you.