Acupuncture has two main theories describing how and why acupuncture works and with the current advancements in science in the fields of biophysics, biochemistry, and physiology we are now able to understand the complex mechanisms of acupuncture.
Insertion of needles stimulates the nervous system releasing chemicals to either alleviate pain or affect the body’s internal regulating systems. It stimulates nerve fibers to carry electrical impulses back to the brain increasing beta endorphin concentrations.
Research has shown that there is a higher electrical magnetic field around the acupuncture points than in the surrounding skin.
Research has found that needle insertion activates pain fibers in the skin. These pain fibers trigger a cascade of chemical messengers, while sending signals to the spinal cord which relays information to the brain stem. Acupuncture can be seen as a bridge that is able to affect and integrate different systems of the body, such as the nervous, endocrine, circulatory, muscular and digestive. Because of these broad effects, needling can create profound changes in the body.
Effects of needling:
- Pain reduction via inhibition of nociceptive fibers
- Activation of blood coagulation and immune complement systems
- Enhances blood circulation
- Restores visceral homeostasis
- Normalization of vascular tone
- Reduces contraction and spasm of the muscles
- Promotes tissue healing (immune response)
- Normalization of endocrine function (Hypothalamus, Pituitary, LH, FSH Adrenal, Ovary, Thyroid)
- Normalization of neurotransmitters (dopamine, serotonin, adrenaline)
- Normalization of sympathetic nervous system (fight or flight)
- Normalization of parasympathetic nervous system