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— Dr. China (@AcupunctureJax) November 22, 2015
While Western society has become much more open to the use of alternative medicines, acupuncture, is still not fully accepted by the traditional medical establishment. For those still skeptical of acupuncture doing more research should help you decide if this ancient form of traditional Chinese medicine is right for you.
Scientists have studied the various mechanisms of yoga, meditation, and various natural supplement and how they may work in the body’s cells, but acupuncture is something significantly more ancient especially in it’s language. A review of the National Institutes of Health website on complementary and alternative medicine (NCCAM), you will find a thorough discussion involving qi, yin, yang, and the body’s acupuncture meridians.
Acupuncture is a form of traditional Chinese medicine being practiced for over 3,000 years. Many people know it works, but just don’t understand how.
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Any discussion about acupuncture to the Western mind requires some education on the language and history of this form of treatment. There is no simple explanation for how it works. Acupuncture has been proven to be effective for pain management and especially effective for the treatment of nausea and vomiting that is an unfortunate side-effect of chemotherapy, using acupuncture for the treatment of other conditions have been studied scientifically with various results.
Increasingly physicians are using acupuncture as an adjunct therapy, as a form of complementary treatments for pain in patients that require or choose it. Many theories of how the mechanisms of acupuncture work have been debated for years.
In the treatment of pain, something that acupuncture has been used for thousands of years to treat, one view is acupuncture may be working through a theory called “gate control”, first outlined by Melzack and Wall in the 1960s. This theory suggests transmission of signals from small nerves close to the skin go through the spinal cord and finally up to the brain. In addition there are large nerve fibers, which send signals that inhibit pain to the small pain fibers. The theory is essentially these “gates” prevent pain signals being set off. When intense pain comes on, the small nerve fibers overwhelm the large ones, so the inhibiting process releases, thus opening the gates of pain. How does acupuncture help? By placing the needles in the appropriate acupuncture points to stimulate the large nerve fibers, so that the small painful ones are then inhibited.
Another theory is that the endorphins, the body’s famous “feel good” chemicals, are released through acupuncture this effectively eliminates the pain. These endorphins or “happy chemicals” are thus released in response to a range of phenomena — Stress, injuries, jogging or running over long distances, even eating chocolate… Have the ability to act like morphine on the human body and brain. Studies have shown by tracking levels of these molecules in the blood that acupuncture has been linked to higher levels of beta-endorphin while patients were reporting decreases in their pain levels, furthermore patients injected with the anti-morphine drug naloxone, caused the effects of acupuncture to be reduced and pain levels returned.
Acupuncture therapy in conjunction with traditional Chinese medicines can both release built up tension and blocked nerves while sometimes restarting natural blood flow, energy and circulation then treating the immune system with super anti-oxidants to fight free radicals an boost vitamins and or mineral deficiencies.