Acupuncture is an ancient Chinese therapy that has been used for centuries. Acupuncture is often used to relieve pain. It is based on the theory that there is energy, called chi or qi, flowing through your body. Chi is thought to flow along energy pathways called meridians. If the flow of chi is blocked or unbalanced at any point on a pathway, theoretically it may result in illness. Traditional Chinese medicine practitioners believe acupuncture unblocks and balances the flow of chi to restore health. Western medicine practitioners who have studied acupuncture theorize that acupuncture reduces pain through biological mechanisms, perhaps involving opioid peptides and stimulation of the hypothalamus and pituitary gland, or changes in neurotransmitters, hormones, or the immune function.
Traditional Chinese acupuncture usually is done by inserting very thin needles into the skin at certain points on the body to stimulate energy flow along the body’s energy pathways (meridians). Other types of acupuncture may use heat, pressure, or mild electrical current to stimulate energy flow along these meridians.
In general, acupuncture is a safe treatment when done by a certified acupuncturist. You want to see an acupuncturist who is licensed by the state regulatory board. A state license ensures that the acupuncturist has a certain level of training and follows certain practice guidelines. Meeree is licensed by three states and the District of Columbia.
Many people are concerned about the risk of infection from acupuncture needles. However, Central Acupuncture and Herb Clinic uses only sterile single-use needles and therefore, maximally eliminates any risk of infection. Talk with Meeree if you have any other questions about the safety of acupuncture
Acupuncture is used to relieve pain and treat certain health conditions. It may be used alone or as part of a treatment program. Promising results have been found for the use of acupuncture in treating nausea and vomiting related to chemotherapy and postsurgery pain. Acupuncture may be useful for other conditions such as addiction, stroke rehabilitation, headache, menstrual cramps, tennis elbow, fibromyalgia, myofascial pain, osteoarthritis, low back pain, carpal tunnel syndrome, and asthma. Acupuncture is a valuable treatment for certain health conditions and merits further use and study.
Research has shown that acupuncture reduces nausea and vomiting after surgery and chemotherapy. It can also relieve pain. Researchers don’t fully understand how acupuncture works. It might aid the activity of your body’s pain-killing chemicals. It also might affect how you release chemicals that regulate blood pressure and flow.
NIH: National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine