When it comes to your health, you do have a choice.
There are many theories as to how acupuncture may work on the body.
Stimulation from acupuncture needles jams the lower nerve bundles in the central nervous system (CNS) so that other pain signals can’t reach the brain. Nerve fibers such as C fibers, the part of the CNS that carries these impulses, have been found to close during acupuncture. Imagine a telephone system in a large city: if too many individual lines are in use at one time, it’s difficult for a telephone user to tap into the main line to make a call.
Insertion of acupuncture needles stimulates the release of endorphins, powerful natural painkillers produced in our brains.
Immune Boosting Theory:
Levels of prostaglandins, white blood counts, and antibody levels are raised during acupuncture.
Levels of neurotransmitters such as serotonin and nor-adrenaline (the same natural, feel-good chemicals that are released after eating a piece of chocolate or aerobic exercise) have been proven to increase with acupuncture.
Acupuncture can facilitate the release of vasodilators, which cause the blood vessels to constrict and dilate, increasing circulation.
MRI Reveals Acupuncture Activity
Until recently, it was difficult to prove that acupuncture was actually doing anything, but recently there has been exciting research involving fMRI (functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging), where pictures are taken of the brain before, during, and after acupuncture. Certain areas of the brain “light up” when corresponding acupuncture points are stimulated.
For example: Traditionally, acupuncturists have used a point on the little toe to address eye pain because the meridian travels up to the eye. In a study done at UC Irvine, when the point on the foot for eye pain was stimulated, the part of the brain that regulates vision lit up.
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