Clinical studies presented by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) have shown that acupuncture is an effective treatment for nausea caused by surgical anesthesia and cancer chemotherapy, as well as for dental pain after surgery.
The NIH has also found that acupuncture is useful by itself, or in combination with conventional therapies, to treat addiction, headaches, menstrual cramps, tennis elbow, fibromyalgia, myofascial pain, osteoarthritis, low back pain, carpal tunnel syndrome, and asthma, and to assist in stroke rehabilitation.
Attention has been focused on the following theories to further explain how acupuncture affects the body:
Conduction of Electromagnetic Signals
Evidence suggests that acupuncture points are strategic conductors of electromagnetic signals. Stimulating these specific points enables electromagnetic signals to be relayed at greater-than-normal rates. These signals start the flow of pain-killing bio-chemicals, such as endorphins, or release immune system cells to specific body sites.
Activation of the Body’s Natural Opioid System
Considerable research supports the claim that acupuncture releases opioids, synthetic or naturally-occurring chemicals in the brain that reduce pain or induce sleep. These chemicals explain acupuncture’s pain-relieving and relaxation effects.
Stimulation of the Hypothalamus and the Pituitary Glands
Joined at the base of the brain, the hypothalamus and pituitary glands are responsible for many body functions. The hypothalamus activates and controls part of the nervous system, the endocrine processes, and many bodily functions, such as sleep, regulation of temperature, and appetite. The pituitary gland supplies some of the body’s needed hormones. Stimulation of these glands can result in a broad spectrum of effects on various body systems.
Change in the Secretion of Neurotransmitters and Neurohormones
Studies suggest that acupuncture alters brain chemistry in a positive way. This is accomplished by changing the release of neurotransmitters (biochemical substances that stimulate or inhibit nerve impulses) and neurohormones (naturally-occurring chemical substances that can change the structure or function, or impact the activity of, a body organ).
Make an appointment today and experience acupuncture’s healing benefits for yourself.