Pain & Musculoskeletal Conditions
“When there is free flow, there is no pain.”
Acupuncture is more than just pain relief. Acupuncture is proven to effectively relieve pain with lasting results. Traditional Chinese Medicine views pain as Qi and Blood stagnation. Qi, sometimes referred to as “Life Energy,” flows with Blood throughout the body, animating and protecting the body from illness, pain and disease. When a person experiences some sort of physical trauma, their flow of Qi and Blood is disrupted, and this in turn causes pain. Acupuncture can help to unblock this obstruction. Cupping, moxibustion, or herbal medicine can do so, as well. When a person’s Qi is flowing more smoothly, their Blood will follow it and move smoothly as well. Then the Qi and Blood can freely circulate throughout the body, providing adequate nourishment to cells, organs, glands, tissues, and muscles. This can eliminate pain, restore balance and harmony, as well as improve the body’s ability to heal itself, ultimately leading to optimal health and well-being. In Chinese medicine there is a famous dictum that sums it up as follows: “When there is free flow, there is no pain.”
Western science has a number of theories on the mechanism of acupuncture. Acupuncture affects higher brain areas, stimulating the secretion of beta-endorphins and enkephalins in the brain and spinal cord. The release of neurotransmitters influences the immune system and the antinociceptive (pain tolerance) system.(1,2,3) Acupuncture also stimulates the release of norepinepherine, acetylcholine and several types of opioids, affecting changes in their turnover rate, normalizing the autonomic nervous system, and thereby reducing pain.(4,5) Acupuncture also activates non-nociceptive receptors that inhibit the transmission of nociceptive (pain) signals in the dorsal horn of the spinal cord, thereby “gating out” painful stimuli.(6) Acupuncture also affects the electrical system of the body by creating or enhancing closed-circuit transport in tissues. This facilitates healing by allowing the transfer of material and electrical energy between normal and injured tissues.(7) And finally, acupuncture affects the blood concentrations of triglycerides, cholesterol, and phospholipids, suggesting that acupuncture can both raise and diminish peripheral blood components, thereby regulating the body toward homeostasis.(8)
1.Neuro-acupuncture, Scientific evidence of acupuncture revealed, 2001 Cho, Z.H., et al, p. 128.
2.Acupuncture – A scientific appraisal, Ernst, E., White, A., 1999, p. 74.
3.Acupuncture Energetics – A clinical approach for Physicians, Helms, Dr. J., 1997, pp. 41-42.
4.Anatomy of Neuro-Anatomical Acupuncture, Vol.1, Wong, Dr.J., p.34.
5.Han, J.S. “Acupuncture Activates Endogenous Systems of Analgesia.” National Institute of Health Consensus Conference on Acupuncture, Program & Abstracts (Bethesda, MD, Nov.3-5, 1997). Office of Alternative Medicine and Office of Medical Applications of Research. Bethesda.
6.Neuro-acupuncture, Scientific evidence of acupuncture revealed, Cho, Z.H., et al, p. 116.
7.Acupuncture Energetics – A clinical approach for Physicians, Helms, Dr. J., 1997, p. 66.
8.Acupuncture Energetics – A clinical approach for Physicians, Helms, Dr. J., 1997, p. 41.