Have you ever wanted to try acupuncture but weren’t sure how it worked? Acupuncture is a type of Eastern holistic medicine that was developed over 2,000 years ago. It uses a unique system to diagnose any imbalance the body may have and uses specific points on the body in order to restore and regain balance. By using this method of therapeutic intervention, acupuncture allows us to treat a wide variety of illnesses.
Studies have shown many benefits from acupuncture:
- It stimulates the release of powerful pain-killing and anti-inflammatory substances from the brain.
- It changes the way your brain responds to pain and can modify internal organ function to treat many complex diseases.
- Its local effects include relaxation of contracted muscles and increase in blood flow.
Many people are turning to alternative medicine like acupuncture, but not all acupuncture is the same. There are different types for different needs:
- Traditional Chinese Acupuncture is a part of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM). TCM uses very fine disposable needles that are inserted in specific areas of the body. In TCM, there are 12 primary meridians (energy pathways). Energy can be blocked or stagnated, which can result in injury, sickness, or disease; with TCM, needles are placed on specific pathways to allow the energy to flow freely throughout the body.
- Dry Needling or Trigger Point Therapy is a Western medical technique of acupuncture. This is the use of fine disposable needles or hollow-core hypodermic needles. The needle is inserted directly into the myofascial trigger points to help reduce muscular tension or pain and reduce restricted range of motion in muscles.
- Contemporary Medical Acupuncture, also known as Neurofunctional Acupuncture, is a precise peripheral nerve stimulation technique in which fine solid needles (acupuncture needles) are inserted into the anatomically defined neurofunctional site and stimulated manually or with electricity for the therapeutic purpose of modulating abnormal activity of the nervous system and/or of its associated effectors. This technique is usually performed on the endocrine, exocrine, and immune systems and in the pain areas, functional problems, and any diseases in which these modulatory mechanism are available.
The physiological goals are to restore normal muscle and nerve function, which results in increased strength; improve and/or normalize sensory motor integration (how your body receives messages through feeling, touching, hearing, etc. and how our body reacts to it by movement), which results in normal recruitment patterns and increased articular function, muscle control, and movement efficiency; normalize tissue structure, which results in increased tissue healing, increased tissue remodeling, and decreased adhesions; and stimulates nerves by modulating abnormal neural pathway , which results in decreased pain.
While there are a few different styles of acupuncture, they all use many healing mechanisms in your body to treat a wide variety of pain conditions and internal diseases. The most common conditions treated with acupuncture include:
- Digestive/gastrointestinal issues
- Musculoskeletal pain
- Chronic degenerative diseases
- Neurological problems
- Sleep problems
- Skin conditions