Acupuncture is the key treatment method in Chinese medicine. In the body there are about 365 acupuncture points that sit across channels called meridians. These pathways connect the internal organs to all parts of the body and within them flows the energy of life, called Qi.
When a needle is inserted into these points, it affects the flow of Qi and blood in this meridian and the function of the organs that are connected with it. Each point has a different function, depending on its location and the organ or meridian to which it is associated. There are points for reducing fever, relieving acute and chronic pain, preventing migraines & headaches, stopping cough, improving sleep, hormonal imbalance, reducing stress and more.
In acupuncture, thin, sterile and disposable needles are used. The needles are inserted a few millimetres deep. A mild, dull ache or a slight tingling sensation may be felt when a needle is inserted. Occasionally moxibustion on or near the needle may be used to introduce heat to the point, which strengthens the action of the needles.
In each treatment, a number of needles are inserted into different acupuncture points selected based on the patient's medical condition, the location of the pathology, its severity and the patient's age. The needles remain in the body for about 20-30 minutes and during this time, while the patient sinks calmly into rest and relaxation, they initiate the healing process.
Numerous animal and human studies have studied the mechanism of action behind acupuncture’s analgesic effects. These have shown that certain acupuncture points cause the release of endorphins (painkillers), suppress proteins that contribute to the inflammatory response and pain sensation such as Substance P and increase production of endogenous cannabinoids in the peripheral nervous system, close to site of injury. This mechanism of action also promotes calmness, sleep, alleviate depression and more.
In addition to understanding the mechanism of action of needles in the human body, many studies have found that acupuncture is very effective in treating acute and chronic pain of all kinds, migraines, insomnia, depression, allergies and additional conditions. This has led to scientific and medical associations around the world, such as the American College of Physicians (ACP), the American Society for Clinical Oncology (ASCO) and others to recommend acupuncture, either as first-line treatment or in combination with pharmaceutical drugs, due to its effectiveness along with the fact that it is very safe and without side effects.
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