What is acupuncture?

Acupuncture isa technique of traditional Chinese medicine(1), in which the placement of very fine needles is used in specific points of the body, to treat some conditions, mainly those related to pain, but it is also used to correct other diseases such as high blood pressure, allergies among others. (2)

In this sense, acupuncture is based on the fact that when a patient presents a specific ailment, it is due to an imbalance of thebody’s energy flow called “Chi” or “Qi”(3), which is believed to run through imaginary meridian channels called “Jing Luo”(4), which when activated correctlyrestore that flow of energy.

Note: Likewise, acupuncture therapyperformed by a specialist (acupuncturist) activates the secretion of someneurotransmittersat the level of thecentral nervous systemsuch as endorphins, serotonin and otherhormonesresponsible for generatingan analgesic and anti-inflammatory effectin the body, to which their effectiveness is due.

What can be cured with acupuncture?

As previously mentioned, acupuncture performed by professionals leads to almost immediate health benefits , which we mention below:

1. Reduces acute and chronic pain

It has been considered that one of the main bases of this ancient technique , in the treatment of chronic pain, such as back pain, osteoarthritis , low back pain and neck pain, among others, through the insertion of needles into points skin specific.

Likewise, it is also used to treat acute pain that occurs, for example, in the post-surgical stage of surgeries. (5)

To highlight: The literature indicates that in a single session relief can be presented in more than 50% of the pains that have been treated in the patient.

2. Boosts the immune system and improves blood circulation

In the same way that scientific medicine relies on the chemical and metabolic balance of the human body so that the immune system works correctly, traditional Chinese medicine relies on the balance of energies ( Yin and Yang ), which balance the body’s Defensive Energy. called Wei Qi . (6)

If these energies are out of balance, defensive energy will be lowand the body will be at the mercy of disease. Acupuncture balances these energies,favoring defensive energy and enhancing the immune system.

You should know: Acupuncture increases the presence of nitric oxide in the body, favoring vasodilation of blood vessels, with the consequent improvement in blood circulation throughout the body. (7)

3. Helps to release stress and anxiety

As mentioned above, the neurological explanation for the analgesic effect of pain is due to the stimulation of some brain neurotransmitters such as serotonin and endorphins, which favor the release of stress and the mitigation of anxiety symptoms .

4. Increases the quality of sleep

One of the characteristic disorders in sleep is represented by insomnia and in traditional Chinese medicine it is attributed to an energetic imbalance that begins in the heart and moves to the “Shen”or spirit. (8)

In this sense, acupuncture recovers the energy stability that insomnia produces, favoring sleep.

Note: Corresponding to the previous point, acupuncture stimulates the production of serotonin and endorphins , hormones related to the sleep-wake cycle.

5. Improves skin allergies and respiratory disorders

Allergic disorders and respiratory diseases occur very frequently and are seasonal pathologies , that is, they occur more frequently at certain times of the year.

6. Reduces side effects of cancer treatments

Chemotherapy and radiotherapy are treatments used to kill cancer cells in the body and are also used as complementary therapy to cancer-related surgery.

You should know: It has been scientifically described that acupuncture has been used successfully to mitigate the side effects of these treatments such as nausea and Vomiting . (eleven)

7. Relieves menstrual and menopausal discomfort

Menstrual discomfort such as pain, bloating and symptoms of menopause such as hot flashes, sleep disorders, night sweats, among others, correspond to stages typical of women.

Note: All these symptoms are related, according to traditional Chinese medicine, to energy imbalances that occur due to physiological changes in women and that can be balanced with the use of acupuncture. (12)

8. Prevents cognitive decline

Cognitive decline can occur for a variety of reasons, but it is more related to age and the aging of neural cells in the brain .

To highlight: Consulted scientific articles describe the usefulness of using acupuncture to treat processes of mild cognitive impairment or prevent the onset of degenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s. (13)

An additional answer could be that acupuncture treatment increases nitric oxide in the body , which favors blood flow to supply enough oxygen and nutrients to the brain.

Key Conclusions

  • Acupuncture is a traditional Chinese medicine technique that uses the placement of needles at specific points on the body.
  • Acupuncture is used to treat some conditions, mainly those related to pain and other ailments of the body.
  • This technique can help boost the immune system , as well as help to release stress and anxiety.

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