How Does It Work?

Acupuncture is often successful where traditional Western Medical treatments are not. If you have symptoms your doctor cannot diagnose, or a complicated condition with many layers, acupuncture is a fantastic treatment option. Acupuncture also treats everyday common complaints without the unwanted side effects of medication.

Acupuncture can help you feel more energetic, emotionally balanced, and resistant to stress even if you do not have any specific medical complaints.

Acupuncture:

  • Increases circulation by stimulating nitric oxide, which enhances the flow of fresh blood and thus oxygen and nutrients to an area of injury to speed healing and to flush out waste products, toxins, and stagnant blood.

  • Releases muscle tension & pain by accessing trigger points in your muscles. Trigger points are well-documented tender areas which, when stimulated, release tension in muscle fiber. Acupuncture needles cause your muscles to release, thus relieving pain and tension.

  • Produces endorphins (the body’s natural opiate-like chemicals) that reduce pain, relieve stress, anxiety, and depression. Endorphins give you the euphoric “acupuncture high” feeling.

  • Reduces stress via nitric oxide and vasodilation. The activation of the parasympathetic nervous system reduces output of the stress hormone cortisol. Stress hormones, while necessary in small amounts, are released much too frequently in most people and are responsible for damage at all cellular levels in your body. They age you, cause sleep disruption, weight gain, appetite disturbance, and emotional imbalances. Reducing this systemic response is hugely important in relieving health concerns.

  • Stimulates the parasympathetic system which is our “rest and digest” system (in contrast to the sympathetic system which is our “fight or flight” mode). You may hear your belly start to gurgle when you receive an acupuncture treatment: strong evidence that your parasympathetic system has been activated. By taking you out of “fight or flight” and into “rest and digest” mode, acupuncture tells your body to stop using up resources and start rebuilding and nourishing the areas that need attention. We only heal in a parasympathetic state.

  • Regulates the immune system, through the activation of T-cells and nitric oxide. This fortifies you against colds and flu, allergies, autoimmune conditions, and inflammation. Acupuncture needles can stimulate both red and white blood cell production.

  • Reduces inflammation (through a combination of the mechanisms mentioned above)– but I feel this benefit warrants special emphasis because inflammation is the root of all disease. Inflammation is a healthy response to tissue damage and it can stimulate our bodies’ self-healing mechanisms, but for many of us, poor diets and unrelieved stressors cause our inflammatory response to over-activate. Acupuncture needles stimulate histamine, increase nitric oxide and boost circulation while producing endorphins, and activating our parasympathetic (rest and digest) system. Through all of these mechanisms, acupuncture regulates the inflammatory response. Less inflammation can lead to a longer healthier life.

  • Regulates the central nervous system. Neuroacupuncture uses acupuncture points on the head and scalp to inhibit or excite different regions of the brain. This contemporary acupuncture technique has an immediate and often profound impact on central nervous system function.

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