Acupuncture treats health conditions by stimulating "acupoints" found at specific locations on the surface of the body. Acupuncturists stimulate acupoints and produce physiological effects by inserting ultra-fine, single-use disposable needles. According to the theory of acupuncture, proper physiological function and health depend on the circulation of qi and blood through a network of channels throughout your body. This network connects every organ with different parts of the body, providing balance and regulation of physiological processes. The goal of acupuncture treatment is to normalize the circulation of qi and blood by stimulating specific acupoints, which results in the body’s natural healing process while relieving pain and other symptoms.

When the needles are tapped into the skin, there may not be any sensation. Much depends on the location (hands and feet tend to be more sensitive) and the condition being treated. Techniques used may include moxibustion, cupping, auricular therapy (ear acupuncture), tui na (manipulation) and acupressure. After your treatment, you will feel more energized but relaxed at the same time.

According to modern scientific research, acupuncture effects the flow of blood and oxygen to the brain, which exerts control over many functional subsystems within the body (e.g., cardiorespiratory, renal, musculoskeletal, gastrointestinal, reproductive) and help regulate homeostatic balance. The wide range of physical effects exerted by acupuncture and its purported efficacy for a compendium of clinical pathologies suggest that the acupuncture needle’s stimulus to the brain may be responsible for maintaining homeostatic balance within and across functional subsystems. Acupuncture’s ability to control pain by stimulating the nervous system to release endorphins and encephalin, the body’s natural chemicals that reduce pain, is one specific example.

The National Institute of Health and World Health Organization have endorsed acupuncture as an effective method of treatment and identified more than 40 conditions for which acupuncture is helpful. Both organizations agree that the acupuncture holds an advantage with substantially lower incidence of adverse effects in comparison to many drugs or other accepted medical procedures used for the same conditions.

photo by Eunice Kan
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