While Western medicine is still struggling to study and quantify the ancient art of acupuncture, Americans are steadily increasing their visits to acupuncturists. Many of those who try acupuncture are feeling and seeing positive results in pain management and overall wellness. Science is slowly beginning to demonstrate that those results are not a figment of the patient’s imagination. Acupuncture, though not entirely understood by Western science, is proving to be a real and effective method for managing pain.
Parallels Between Acupuncture and Anatomy
Acupuncture works to balance and channel qi, the body’s invisible life force, through 365 points along body meridians. Modern doctors have noted that those points and meridians are not arbitrary. The acupuncture points align with nerve bundles and muscle triggers connected with the brain, and the meridians follow major blood vessels and organ systems, so stimulating these points and lines could feasibly provide successful treatment.
Brain Activity Changes
Brain imaging shows that acupuncture has visible effects on brain activity. Specific points cause specific patterns of increased and decreased brain activity. These points correspond to brain functions that are related to the organ being treated.
Gate Control Theory
Scientists have several theories of why acupuncture is effective, one of which is based on the gate control theory. Small nerve endings pick up sensations such as pain and larger nerve bundles regulate whether these sensations are recognized by the brain. When something is truly painful, the small nerves are so stimulated that they overwhelm the large nerve bundle gatekeepers. Acupuncture stimulates the large nerve bundles, helping them override pain signals that are being sent by small nerves and providing relief to pain patients.
If you are dealing with pain problems, acupuncture may be a treatment that will provide respite and enhance your quality of life. The practitioners at the Pain and Wellness Center give acupuncture and other pain treatments to patients in the Boston area. For more information, contact us at (781) 780- 3616 today.