Acupuncture is a traditional Chinese technique that has been used for millennia to treat different health conditions, including chronic pain and other health problems associated with inflammation, yet the scientific basis of the technique remains poorly understood.
In recent decades, acupuncture has been increasingly embraced in Western medicine as a potential treatment for inflammation processes, pain, stress and more.
Acupuncture is the insertion of ultra-thin, sterile needles into specific acupuncture points on the body to achieve a therapeutic effect. These points regulate the way in which the body functions. Using the information gathered during the extensive initial assessment, a specific acupuncture protocol is set in place.
Traditional Chinese Medicine explains that health is the result of a balance of the complementary extremes of yin and yang of the life force known as Qi, pronounced “chi.” Advocates believe that illness is the consequence of an imbalance of these forces.
According to TCM, Qi flows through meridians, or pathways, in the human body. These meridians and energy flows are accessible through 361 acupuncture points in the body. Inserting needles into these points with appropriate combinations will bring the energy flow back into balance.
A research conducted in 2017 suggests that the physical stimulation of needle insertion at these sites may affect pain processing in the central nervous system and muscles and increase blood flow to certain parts of the body.
However, the exact mechanism by which acupuncture works is not clear.