If you are unfamiliar with acupuncture, the shortest explanation is that it is a form of alternative medicine, that involves placing thin needles at specific points in the body. This results in effective relief from pain. Sound insane right?! Well, the reality of it is far less ‘wacky’ than you may think. Nonetheless, we can’t talk about acupuncture without touching on its roots.
Acupuncture is based on age-old healing practices of Chinese medicine and the concept that pain or disease is caused by disruption to the flow of our body’s vital energy known as Qi, (pronounced as chii). Once inserted, the needles stimulate the release of stagnant Qi, allowing the vital energy to flow freely and reduce pain.
Still sounding far fetched? Well, the modern practice of acupuncture has changed significantly since it was first noted in the East. Western scientists have studied the mechanism of acupuncture for years in a bid to understand how it works. So let’s unravel the science behind it.
Our bodies create their own natural painkillers and feel-good chemicals called endorphins. Prescribed medications mimic our body’s natural painkillers by attaching to parts of our body, that are normally accessed by endorphins.
Acupuncture utilizes the same signal altering mechanism to block the perception of pain. The inserted needle stimulates our nerves, which send signals to the brain, to release those natural painkillers and ‘feel-good’ chemicals. This is why an individual receiving Acupuncture may feel euphoric or happy. Such emotions are linked to an increase in pain thresholds and a reduction in the perception of pain.
Though Acupuncture works in a similar way to prescribed medication, there are no risks of harmful side effects, addiction. Why? because the needles do not contain any medication or synthetic products. They just stimulate the release of the body’s natural painkillers.
In terms of its benefits, research has linked acupuncture to improvements in addressing a variety of health conditions. This includes arthritis, migraines, low back pain, as well as anxiety and depression. The World Health Organisation maintains an extensive list of other diseases and conditions treatable by acupuncture.
Overall people are sometimes wary of the mechanics of Acupuncture, because of unfamiliar terms such as Qi, and vital energy. However, we believe that the Eastern and western terminologies are referring to similar things, but in different cultural languages.
Needless to say, (yep pun intended), our clients have witnessed the wondrous effects of Acupuncture.