Acupuncture is a method of promoting natural healing through the insertion of fine needles at precise points.
The needle creates a micro-trauma to your body, which sends inflammatory cells to this region, to ward off this perceived threat.
It takes a little time, which is why the needles are often left in for 30-40 minutes, for your immune system to alter this reaction and engage the healing process. This is achieved by activating the parasympathetic nervous system, the opposite to our stress response.
Founded in ancient China, acupuncture has been used for thousands of years and is still widely used in Chinese hospitals and health practices worldwide today. The practice became accepted into mainstream Western Medicine following numerous scientific studies.
The classical Chinese understanding of how acupuncture works explains that channels of energy, known as meridians, run in regular patterns throughout the body. The smooth flow of energy through these channels allows the tissues to be nourished enabling normal, vital functioning. If there is a blockage in the meridian, pain, disease and imbalance ensue. Acupuncture needling releases energy blockages, allowing the system to flow smoothly and healing to occur.
Some excellent research on mapping these meridians highlight how these points adjust and maintain the local pressure in the body and alter CO2 levels, visit sciencedirect for details.
The treatment is suited to systemic illness, such as arthritis or an irritable bowel, as well as local problems such as a shoulder, back or knee injury.
I am a member of the Acupuncture-Acutherapy Council, a register of practitioners who are qualified, insured and maintain codes of practice.