How does Acupuncture work?
Over 4,000 years ago a theory of a energy life force, which circulated in an organized way throughout the body, developed from ancient Shamanistic beliefs. This life energy circulates throughout the body through pathways similar to the way blood circulates throughout the vessels.
This theory further evolved into a system of channels and pathways, and was passed down over the millennia through observation and treatment provided by ancient practitioners. Shen Nung, the father of Chinese medicine, identified hundreds of points along these “meridians” that when stimulated by needles produced profound changes in physiological functions.
Health depends upon balance: balance of all activities of all bodily systems. At the core of this balance is the energy that is the source of all life. This energy is called Qi (chee).
Since the 1970’s when New York Times journalist James Reardon reported upon witnessing the wonders of acupuncture anesthesia during a trip to China, people have been fascinated about “how acupuncture works”. Though there is no proven scientific explanation of “how” it works, there are several theories.
- "Augmentation of Immunity" - Acupuncture raises levels of specific hormones prostaglandins, white blood counts, gamma globulins, and overall anti-body levels.
- The "Endorphin" Theory - Acupuncture stimulates the secretions of endorphins in the body (specifically Enkaphalins).
- The "Neurotransmitter" Theory - Acupuncture affects certain neurotransmitter levels such as Serotonin and Noradrenalin
- "Circulatory" Theory - Acupuncture has the effect of constricting or dilating blood vessels. This may be caused by the body's release of Vasodilators, such as Histamine, in response to Acupuncture.
- ”Gate Control" Theory - According to this theory, Acupuncture closes certain nerve gates by strategically overloading them with impulses, thus reducing pain transmission.