1 How acupuncture works?
Acupuncture works by stimulating the nerves and muscles, resulting in the body producing natural substances, such as pain-relieving endorphins.
Over the past 20 years research into acupuncture as a medical treatment has grown significantly, at appropriately twice the rate of conventional biomedicine. There has been over 13,000 studies conducted in 60 countries worldwide. Acupuncture has been studied in a diverse range of clinical areas including pain, cancer, pregnancy, stroke, mood disorders, sleep disorders and inflammation, to name a few.
The results show when patients took acupuncture treatment their bodies changed in several different ways:
- The needles stimulate body electromagnetic signal that causes immune system releases immunocytes. These non-specific immune cells function as a first line of defence against infection and injury.
- It can activate the hypothalamus and pituitary gland. The hypothalamus is a part of brain that contains a few small nuclei with different functions. One of the most important functions of the hypothalamus is to link the nervous system to the endocrine system via the pituitary gland. We know endocrine system plays a very important part in balance human body. It produces hormones that body uses for a wide range of functions, including respiration and metabolism control, sexual development, growth.
- It affects brain chemistry and nervous system, which often influences brain functions. A lot of physical problems are caused by psychological disorders. Acupuncture can have a positive effect on mental illness through and has been recommended by the World Health Organisation as a treatment for depression with The Acupuncture Evidence Project recommending acupuncture for anxiety.
- Generally speaking, acupuncture stimulates specific points on the body sending bio-signals to brain and other systems. It’s like an alarm to remind body which parts are damaged. In the same time, it organises all the different systems to repair the problems.
2 Is acupuncture painful?
This is a very common question. Some people are scared by the thought of needles and feel painful even by looking at them. Acupuncture needles are finer than those used for injections and blood test, so while you may feel a pinch as the needle pierces the skin, once in place the needles are hardly noticeable. Some patients may feel a tingling sensation or a dull ache, however, for the majority acupuncture can be very relaxing with many people falling asleep during the treatment and fell refreshed afterwards.
3 How many sessions do I need?
Whilst it will depend on the individual’s condition, generally speaking, chronic or long-standing medical conditions will require more treatment but if you are strong and young then the sessions could be reduced, depending on how you have responded to treatment. Acupuncture uses the body’s own intrinsic energy (qi) to repair itself, so, better body conditions do make the process faster.
4 What should I do after acupuncture?
Often my clients told me, I feel like just had a hot bath after acupuncture. So I normally suggest people to drink warm water and relax if it’s possible. However, you can go to work or gym if you feel really energetic. We would also highlight that feelings of a deep relaxation and drowsiness are not uncommon after treatment which must be considered should you plan to drive or operate machinery after the treatment. In addition, it’s better avoid shower or bath in 2 hours in order to avoid contaminat acupuncture areas and keep warm.