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How Does Acupuncture Work?

Jan 02, 2024
How Does Acupuncture Work?
Acupuncture can promote physical and emotional well-being by relieving pain, stress, and other health problems. It’s a centuries-old treatment that has been employed to aid healing of various ailments.

The technique of acupuncture involves inserting thin needles into the skin, which a trained practitioner stimulates with precise, light hand movements.

Originating in China more than 2,500 years ago, acupuncture focuses on stimulating specific points on the body with needles, to relieve pain, treat various conditions, and rebalance the body. 

The team at Health Advantage Physical Medicine provides comprehensive integrative family medicine, chiropractic care, and top-quality physical medicine to individuals and families throughout Greater Los Angeles, California. Acupuncture is a versatile technique that promotes healing for a range of conditions, from low back pain to headaches.

The fundamental principles of acupuncture

Acupuncture is grounded in the traditional Chinese medicine philosophy that the body contains vital energy, or 'Qi,’ which circulates through pathways known as meridians. Health issues are believed to occur when the flow of Qi is disrupted. Acupuncture aims to restore this flow, thereby promoting the body's natural healing processes.

The science behind the needles

When inserted into the skin, acupuncture needles stimulate the body's nervous system. This stimulation triggers the release of natural substances that reduce pain and inflammation. It's believed that acupuncture can affect the body’s pain-processing system, altering brain chemistry by changing the release of neurotransmitters and neurohormones.

Acupuncture points 

Acupuncture points are specific locations on the body where needles are inserted. These points are strategically situated where needles can stimulate nerves, muscles, and connective tissue. The stimulation increases blood flow while at the same time triggering the activity of our body's natural painkillers. It's akin to activating the body’s own pharmacy, using your body’s natural ability to relieve pain and improve overall health.

More than just pain relief

While often associated with pain management, acupuncture’s benefits extend much further. It’s used to treat various conditions like anxiety, insomnia, digestive problems, menstrual issues, and even infertility. By stimulating the body’s various systems, acupuncture can help to restore balance and ensure the smooth flow of Qi, leading to overall health improvements.

The experience of acupuncture

For newcomers, the idea of needles can be intimidating. However, acupuncture needles are exceptionally thin and generally painless. Most patients experience a sense of relaxation and calm during and after treatment. It's a therapeutic process that engages the body and mind, creating a holistic healing experience.

Tailored to individual needs

One of the key strengths of acupuncture is its adaptability to individual needs. The experienced practitioners here at Health Advantage Physical Medicine assess each patient’s unique condition and customize the treatment accordingly. The number, location, and intensity of the needles can vary, making acupuncture a highly personalized form of therapy.

The cumulative effect

Acupuncture often has a cumulative effect, with benefits becoming more apparent over time. Consistent sessions can lead to significant improvements, as the body responds to ongoing stimulation and adjustment. It’s a journey of healing that evolves and adapts to your changing needs.

Acupuncture is a gentle yet powerful therapy that taps into the body’s natural healing ability, providing relief and restoring balance. Whether you're dealing with chronic pain, stress, or other health issues, acupuncture offers a natural, holistic path to recovery.

To learn more, and to get started, give us a call to schedule a visit.