Acupuncture is a therapeutic procedure consisting of the insertion of very fine needles on specific points in the body with the purpose of promoting physical and emotional harmony, as well as diminishing the perception of pain. Today’s technology has developed fine, disposable needles, which have made modern acupuncture a virtually painless, extremely safe therapy. The acupuncture needles are less than an eight of the size of the needles employed for injections, and are used only once.
How does acupuncture work?
The theory of TCM states that energy (Qi) flows through pathways (channels) throughout the body. It is believed that disruption of this flow causes diseases. Acupuncture improves and balances the circulation of Qi, thus enabling the body to regulate the metabolism of some hormones, neurotransmitters, enzymes, and other biochemical substances, which include natural painkillers such as endorphins. The National Institutes of Health states that “stimulation by acupuncture may also activate the hypothalamus and the pituitary gland, resulting in a broad spectrum of systemic effects. Alteration in the secretion of neurotransmitters and neurohormones, and changes in the regulation of blood flow, both centrally and peripherally, have been documented.” Acupuncture stimulation affects nerves and causes beneficial reflex responses, and possibly re-patterns the nervous system.