Traditional Acupuncture & Traditional Chinese Medicine & Oriental Medicine, is a holistic system of Natural Medicine & healing, developed & refined in China, Japan & Korea to restore & maintain good health over a period of more than 2,500 years. The first known medical treatise of acupuncture dates to the Han Dynasty (206 BCE to 220 ACE). This classical text, The Yellow Emperor's Classic of Internal Medicine, is one of many ancient medical treatises, that are still the root today of all acupuncture & Traditional Chinese Medicine.
In Western medicine, Acupuncture points are understood to be located at specific areas that stimulate & positively influence the nervous system. These areas of neural sensitivity, are shown to be effective in the treatment of specific health problems. Acupuncture is commonly known as an effective treatment for pain release. Traditional Acupuncture is used as a complete system of health. Traditional Acupuncture is used to restore & maintain health, treat a wide range of illnesses, as well as strengthening each patient's constitution, promoting physical, mental, emotional & energetic wellbeing. Its strength lies in treating the root or underlying cause of a problem or weakness, as well as specific symptoms. This is known as Stem & Branch treatment, & is used to treat both acute & chronic pain, restore health, alleviate symptoms, & strengthen the constitution.
Based on a detailed consultation & examination, structural assessment & medical history, a diagnosis is made, with a personalised treatment plan, linking together an often complex pattern of disharmony. This means that although a specific symptom may be your first concern, patients often notice other areas of their health improving including digestion, immune function, sleep & overall energy.
How does Acupuncture Work?
Acupuncture works naturally & holistically with your body. There are many different interpretations of how it works, each varying depending on your perspective, medical framework & cultural paradigm. At The Well Body Clinics, we discuss how acupuncture works using our shared hands-on experience of treatment, backed up by latest research statistics & the benefits you may experience as a result of treatment. By working on a personalised treatment strategy with clear objectives, we can measure & quantify treatment results against your own personal goals. What is clear, both empirically in clinic & in the wider research base, is that Acupuncture works.
Western biomedical research highlights how acupuncture positively activates three primary physiological mechanisms:
- Activation of opioid systems: Research highlights that acupuncture directly influences the brain's pain matrix. It has discovered serval types of pain-reducing opioids may be released into the central nervous system during treatment.
- Changes in brain chemistry: Studies demonstrate that acupuncture alters brain chemistry by releasing neurotransmitters & neurohormones. It has also been shown to affect sensation & involuntary body functions, such as immune response, & the processes involved in blood pressure regulation, blood flow, body temperature, circadian rhythms & metabolism. Modulation of the subcortical brain structures may be an important mechanism by which acupuncture influences complex multi-system effects.
- Changes in blood flow & fluid physiology: Acupuncture & Oriental Medicine is shown to affect blood circulation, & its transport to an affected area. This helps the body by removing pain-causing chemicals, calming our adrenalin & cortisol response, that leads to over-toxicity & stress, & to restore homeostasis & normal function.
Acupuncture is well known to help back pain, knee pain & arthritis. It is particularly useful as an adjunct to conventional care, for patients with severe symptoms, & for treatment of pain without the use of overprescribed NSAIDs (such as paracetamol, codeine, ibuprofen, co-codamol), prescription analgesics or other pharmaceutical drugs, all of which come hand in hand with extensive side-effects & health risks.
Research shows Acupuncture helps by:
- Providing pain relief: by stimulating nerves located in muscles & other tissues. Acupuncture directly influences the brain's pain matrix, releasing endorphins & other neurohumoral factors & changes the processing of pain in the brain & spinal cord (Pomeranz 1987; Zhao 2008; MacPherson, 2014)
- Reduces inflammation: by promoting release of vascular & immuno-modulatory factors (Kim 2008; Kayoussi 2007; Zijilistra 2003)
- Improving muscle stiffness & joint mobility: by increasing local micro-cirulcation (Komori 2009) which aids dispersal of swelling & bruising
- Reducing the use of medication: for back complaints (Thomas, 2006)
Acupuncture: Helping you Access your Body's Natural Pharmacy & Pain Relief:
Acupuncture achieves the desired results by gently stimulating specific areas called acupuncture points, close to or on the skin surface. Acupoint locations often mirror main or peripheral pathways of the nervous system, as well coinciding with many dense neuro-vascular areas stimulated by gentle myofascial or fascia release in treatments such as Bowen Therapy, Shiatsu or Acupressure Massage. These areas all share the ability to positively influence physiological, biochemical or neuro-endocrine hormonal responses in the body.
Because Acupuncture targets these specific designated areas of electrical conductivity & sensitivity, it is believed that the action of gently inserting super fine acupuncture needles at these neural activity points positively stimulates sensory receptors, providing a feedback loop to the nervous system. This stimulates nerves that transmit signal-impulses to the hypothalamic-pituitary system in the brain. The hypothalamic-pituitary glands are responsible for releasing neurotransmitters & endorphins, our body's natural opiates & pain-killing hormones. These are believed to be over 200 times more potent than morphine, & without any adverse side-effects.
In essence, each one of us has inside our body, our own internal natural pharmacy. With acupuncture & using simple acupressure techniques between treatments, patients learn to access their own pain-release mechanisms. What's more, these techniques also naturally stimulate & harness the body's own natural healing mechanisms. Through treatment, we help the body to remember & to relearn how to heal itself through its release of its natural hormones. Central to this, is the other beneficial effect of treatment - natural release of opiates & a better handle of how we each may manage stress levels, reduce anxiety & promote relaxation.