the science behind acupuncture

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the science behind acupuncture

Δημοσίευση  lucritia Την / Το Δευ Σεπ 21, 2009 3:29 am

The Science Behind Acupuncture
No one knows for sure how or why acupuncture works at correcting disorders, however research is increasing and studies from a modern perspective have shown areas that acupuncture may be influencing.

Acupuncture can stimulate the release of natural endogenous, opiate-like substances (i.e. endorphins, enkephalins) that mediate pain and aid in relaxation. Cessation or management of pain is a widely accepted clinical use of acupuncture, and accepted by the modern medical community.


Acupuncture has been shown (via NMRI) to sedate aspects of the limbic system and termed effective for management of stress and pain. The limbic system, which includes numerous structures within the brain, is activated by motivated behavior and arousal, and influences the endocrine and autonomic nervous system.


Acupuncture can subdue the sympathetic nervous system, called the "fight or flight" aspect of the autonomic nervous system. In our modern high-stress society, this portion of the nervous system tends to keep running. Studies have shown that this action of acupuncture can reduce functional stress, which has multiple ramifications such as improved immune function and reduced cardiac stress.


Acupuncture influences the electromagnetic currents of the body. Traditional acupuncture points are higher in electrical activity and lower in resistance than other areas of the body. Recently mapped electromagnetic currents follow the same courses of meridians charted by the Chinese thousands of years ago. Science has not yet determined what this means in modern medicine, but acupuncturists use the points and meridians in empirically proven therapies.


Clinical trials and studies have statistically shown that auricular acupuncture significantly improves the treatment and recovery of alcoholics and substance abusers. Auricular acupuncture reduces or eliminates acute and post-acute withdrawal symptoms and aids in effective psycho-social therapy interaction. In the treatment of addiction, acupuncture is not the primary therapy but a powerful adjunct.


Acupuncture has a cumulative effect and seems to work at various levels in the body. Initial stimulus works at superficial functional levels, whereas long-term treatments work at a deeper organic level and may balance hormonal systems.
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