What is Acupuncture?

Several thousand years ago, East Asian practitioners discovered that the body forms disharmonies as a result of the various physical and mental stresses of life. Oriental medical theory explains these disharmonies as an imbalance of opposing forces called yin and yang. This imbalance disrupts the movement of the body's vital energy (qi) along the meridian pathways, which are channels through which the body's energy is thought to flow. Acupuncture restores the smooth flow of qi. By inserting and manipulating thin needles at specific points, the body is able to return to its natural balance and promote the body's ability to heal itself.

How does it work?
Current theories on the mechanisms of how acupuncture works include:

  1. Release of Neurotransmitters
    Acupuncture releases endorphins and enkephalins (chemicals that influence pain). These influence the immune system and antinociceptive system, the system which helps the body to feel less pain.
  2. Blood Chemistry Regulation
    Acupuncture can both raise and lower peripheral blood components, thereby regulating the body toward homeostasis. It affects the blood concentrations of triglycerides, cholesterol, and phospholipids.
  3. Autonomic Nervous System
    Acupuncture stimulates the release of norepinephrine, acetylcholine, and several types of opioids, affecting changes in their turnover rate, normalizing the autonomic nervous system and reducing pain.
  4. Increased Circulation
    Acupuncture affects the electrical system of the body by creating or enhancing closed-circuit transport in tissues. This facilitates healing by allowing the transfer of material and electrical energy between normal and injured tissues.
  5. Gate Control
    Acupuncture activates non-nociceptive receptors that inhibit the transmission of nociceptive signals in the dorsal horn, "gating out" painful stimuli. 

Resources:
Neuro-acupuncture, “Scientific evidence of acupuncture revealed”, Cho, ZH., et al., 2001.
Acupuncture – A scientific appraisal, Ernst, E., White, A., 1999, p. 74.
Acupuncture Energetics, “A Clinical Approach for Physicians”, Helms, Dr. J., 1997, pgs 41-42, 66.
Anatomy of Neuro-Anatomical Acupuncture, Volume 1, Wong, Dr. J., 1999, p. 34.
National Institute of Health Consensus Conference on Acupuncture, “Acupuncture Activates Endogenous Systems of Analgesia.”, Han, J.S., 1997 (Bethesda, MD).
Neuro-acupuncture, “Scientific Evidence of Acupuncture Revealed”, Cho, ZH., et al., p.116.
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19628336

Acupuncture Before Opioids

Acupuncture - Covid 19: Better Life Acupuncture cannot see patients physically. Telehealth sessions are available. See Services. in Lexington, MALink to resources

Better Life Acupuncture

238 Bedford Street, Suite 5
Wellington Park (tall brick building)
Lexington, MA 02420
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(617) 645-0073


Acupuncture - Covid 19: Better Life Acupuncture cannot see patients physically. Telehealth sessions are available. See Services. in Lexington, MA