Acupuncture is an important part of conservative and healthy pain management. Pain, whether it is caused by illness or trauma, can impede the healing process. In some cases it forces the body to adapt in ways that lead to even more suffering. Acupuncture provides a drug-free and painless method of reducing the symptoms of many conditions.
Acupuncture in our office is used on patients with a wide variety of complaints, including painful conditions such as sciatica, disc injuries, whiplash, and headaches. There are two basic lenses through which we can view acupuncture's effects on the body. The first is through Traditional Chinese Medicine and the second (and perhaps more understandable) is the Western medical perspective.
Western Medical Perspective: Acupuncture has very real and measurable physiological effects on the body. Acupuncture plays a part in pain relief through the release of opioid peptides in the brain. These have a natural analgesic affect that is similar to opioid painkillers such as morphine. Additionally, acupuncture affects the secretion of specific neurotransmitters that play a role in the experience of pain, including serotonin. Serotonin regulates mood, thereby producing the positive emotions experienced by acupuncture patients. Increased serotonin also mitigates the transmission of pain signals.
Traditional Chinese Medicine: Acupuncture is based on the concept that the unimpeded flow of Qi is necessary for good health. Qi (pronounced 'chee') is a life force or energy that moves throughout the body and regulates spiritual, mental, and physical balance. The opposing forces of Yin and Yang are responsible for regulating the organs.
Disease, pain, and emotional disturbances occur when the flow of Qi is obstructed, when there is excessive or deficient Qi, or when Yin and Yang are not balanced. Acupuncture restores the natural harmony of the body for optimal physical and emotional health.