A lot of you have asked what is acupuncture, how does it work. There is a view from Western Medicine, but the practice originated from the Eastern world, so how can you explain it. We asked Lamya Kamel our Director of Acupuncture at Aligned Modern Health on how to best explain Acupuncture to your family and friends.
How Does Acupuncture Work?
Good question. There continues to be more and more research done in order to answer this question. There is no one right way to explain how acupuncture works, but here are the mechanisms behind acupuncture and how it helps to alleviate anything from back pain to allergies and how it treats infertility.
• Acupuncture promotes blood flow. This is significant because everything the body needs to heal is in the blood, including oxygen, nutrients we absorb from food, immune substances, hormones, analgesics (painkillers) and anti-inflammatories. Restoring proper blood flow is vital to promoting and maintaining health. For example if blood flow is diminished by as little as 3% in the breast area cancer may develop. Blood flow decreases as we age and can be impacted by trauma, injuries, and certain diseases. Acupuncture has been shown to increase blood flow and vasodilation in several regions of the body.
• Acupuncture stimulates the body’s built-in healing mechanisms. Acupuncture creates “micro traumas” that stimulate the body’s ability to spontaneously heal injuries to the tissue through nervous, immune and endocrine system activation. As the body heals the micro traumas induced by acupuncture, it also heals any surrounding tissue damage left over from old injuries.
• Acupuncture releases natural painkillers. Inserting a needle sends a signal through the nervous system to the brain, where chemicals such as endorphins, norepinephrine and enkephalin are released. Some of these substances are 10-200 times more potent than morphine!
• Acupuncture relaxes shortened muscles. This in turn releases pressure on joint structures and nerves, and promotes blood flow.
• Acupuncture reduces stress. This is perhaps the most important systemic effect of acupuncture. Recent research suggests that acupuncture stimulates the release of oxytocin, a hormone and signaling substance that regulates the parasympathetic nervous system. You’ve probably heard of the “fight-or-flight” response that is governed by the sympathetic nervous system. The parasympathetic nervous system has been called the “rest-and-digest” or “calm-and-connect” system, and in many ways is the opposite of the sympathetic system. Recent research has implicated impaired parasympathetic function in a wide range of autoimmune diseases, including arthritis, lupus, rheumatoid arthritis and inflammatory bowel disease
We are excited to announce that we are now offering acupuncture at all Aligned Modern Health locations. We have taken our same consumer centric, outcome based approach in creating these services. Request an Appointment today!!