Acupuncture Points: Meaning, Benefits and How They Work

Acupuncture as therapy is considered part of traditional Chinese medicine and dates back to thousands of years. Today, acupuncture is widespread across the globe and acupuncturists deploy the practice for pain relief and a number of other conditions. Various studies provide supporting evidence that acupuncture boosts the body function and encourages the body’s process of self-healing by stimulating specific sites in the body called acupuncture points (or sometimes acupoints).

The Acupuncture San Diego staff combine acupuncture with other forms of treatment to help relieve pain in patients. The therapy entails an acupuncturist inserting fine, sterile needles into the skin. The experts may combine acupuncture with electric, heat or pressure stimulation to enhance the effects. The practice may include other techniques such as manual massage, cupping, moxibustion (also heat therapy) and topical application of herbal therapeutics.

Acupuncture points

According to the Chinese practice, the body runs on energy or “qi.”The energy system runs along defined pathways known as Meridian. Each meridian possesses multiple acupuncture points that affect different areas of the body including organs and body systems. Acupuncture points allow access to the meridians. There are numerous acupuncture points in the body.

As mentioned above, energy flows through meridians. Blockage or imbalance of this energy flow manifests as disease or pain. By stimulating acupuncture points, acupuncture restores the balance and flow of energy in the body culminating in restored health.

The Chinese acupuncturists believe that the body has more than 2000 acupuncture points on 14 principal meridians. According to WHO’s report on proposed standard international Nomenclature, there are 361 acupuncture points. The report organizes the acupuncture points depending on their location in the 14 meridians. The meridians include:

Stomach
Spleen
Small intestines
Lungs
Pericardium
Triple energize (also Triple warmer)
Gallbladder
Bladder
Conception vessel
Governing vessel
Heart
Kidney
Large intestines
Liver

How Acupuncture Points Work

The knowledge and identification of actual acupuncture points date back to thousands of years ago. Acupuncture works in different ways.

01. Acupuncture Works via Neuro Hormonal Pathways

Placing the needles at specific parts of the body stimulates the nerve. The stimulated nerve then sends signals to the brain. The brain responds by releasing neural hormones like endorphins. Endorphins inhibit the signaling of pain in the body thus relieving pain. Endorphins also create a feeling of euphoria.

02. Acupuncture Reduces Pro-Inflammatory Proteins

Research suggests that acupuncture reduces pro-inflammatory proteins or markers (including 1L-β) in the body. Reducing pro-inflammatory protein decreases inflammation and relieves pain.

03. Acupuncture Stimulates Regeneration of Nerves

Acupuncture can treat nerve damage caused by conditions such as chemo-induced peripheral neuropathy. The condition causes numbness and can weaken the hands and feet. Placing the needle in an acupuncture point stimulates the brain to release nerve growth factor, which stimulates nerve regeneration.

Acupuncture Can Help With:

Chronic pain

Experts at Acupuncture San Diego can help deal with chronic pain arising from conditions such as:

  • Chronic headaches
  • Back pain
  • Neck pain
  • Shoulder pain
  • Osteoarthritis

Menstrual Cramps

Some women experience excruciating periods; a state termed dysmenorrhea. Although there is limited research here, there is some evidence that acupuncture can ease menstrual pain.

Cancer Treatment

Some patients under standard cancer treatment (Radiation, surgery or chemotherapy) also seek acupuncture as complement therapy. Acupuncture can help patients experiencing nausea or vomiting during cancer treatment. Such patients can seek acupuncture therapy at any stage of treatment from diagnosis to advanced stages.

Fertility Treatment

Acupuncture can help women seeking to get pregnant with the conventional fertility treatment. Acupuncture can increase the success rate of in vitro fertilization. There a study that suggests that acupuncture can help one get pregnant by relieving anxiety and stress experienced by women undergoing fertility treatment and increasing blood flow to the uterus.

Acupuncture Works

Various research works show that this ancient Chinese practice helps ease different types of pain. For example, low-back pain, osteoarthritis (causes knee pain) and neck pain. Acupuncture can help prevent a migraine headache and alleviates tension headache. In 2016, the Cochrane Review concluded that acupuncture goes beyond relieving headaches to control and avert migraines before they occur. The review carried out 22 trials. The results suggest that acupuncture should be considered for the treatment and prevention of migraines. This is in addition to prophylactic drugs.

A review publication by Spine Journal indicates that acupuncture has positive effects on chronic pain on the lower back. The systematic review compared 32 different studies. 25 of the 32 studies provided essential data that conclusively supports the fact that acupuncture alleviates lower back pain.

Aside from pain alleviation, acupuncture helps patient with various circulatory, endocrine, and systematic conditions. Acupuncture in combination with moxibustion elevates the success rate of in-vitro fertilization. This is according to the BMJ report of acupuncture released in 2013. The report also indicates that acupuncture and moxibustion increase the success of embryo implantation.

Another benefit of acupuncture and moxibustion is that the combination does not produce adverse side effects in patients.

A study carried out in Italy in 2016 suggests that acupuncture can eradicate the need for additional drugs in patients undergoing breast cancer treatment. The study involved 190 breast cancer patients. The results show that acupuncture can improve the quality of life of breast cancer patients. From the study, acupuncture can help deal with hot flashes experienced among those undergoing treatment for breast cancer.

Aside from managing pain, the stimulation of the body systems through acupuncture improves digestive functions, sleep as well as a sense of well-being. What are you waiting for, its time you visit the best acupuncturist in San Diego and enjoy the benefits of acupuncture.

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