The method of treating various types of physical and psychological disorders with acupuncture is becoming increasingly favoured nowadays. Previously regarded as a form of pseudo-science, acupuncture is now proposed by medical professionals as a complimentary treatment for a variety of diseases and pain conditions.
The theory which forms the basis of acupuncture treatment states that for the survival of every living organism, the life force or energy known as ‘Qi’ is quintessential and without it, no life can exist. Qi flows through the body of an individual through channels called meridians. These invisible ‘meridians’ are just as significant as the nerve pathways and blood vessels inside the body of a living organism. Treatment of a certain medical anomaly with acupuncture is achieved by the insertion of sterilized needles at points along the meridians. These points are referred as ‘acupoints‘.
According to the World Health Organisation, acupuncture is found effective against a stream of ailments in human beings. Successful positive results have been found in acupuncture treatment for back pain, muscle strain, whiplash, joint pain, sciatica, sinus problems, asthma, menstural irregularities, trigeminal neuralgia, hemiplagia, tinnitis, migraine, post-traumatic stress, cystitis, prostate problems, hormonal irregularities, adrenal insufficiency, angina, palpitations, insomnia, low energy, anxiety, common cold, hay fever, addictions, etc.
Acupuncture practitioners hold the belief that most of these conditions are caused due to a blockage in the path of the Qi flow. The needles used in acupuncture clear the blockage and restore the biological balance, thus curing the sickness. Scientists have, however, found many medical explanations which support the theory proposed by acupuncture practitioners.
- The needles actually stimulate different sensory receptors which transmit neural signals to the central nervous system. The central nervous system then triggers the production of chemicals which change the sensation of pain or bring about a feeling of well-being.
- Insertion of needles into the ‘acupoints’ speed the transmission of electromagnetic signals to the brain which initiates the release of natural painkillers like endorphins or cells of immune system inside the body.
- The acupuncture needles prompt the sensory receptors to send impulses to the hypothalamic-pituitary glands which release natural opioids. Opioids are chemicals that reduce pain and enhance the quality of sleep.
- Acupuncture makes the brain regulate the release of the neurohormones and neurotransmitters. Neurohormones can produce changes in the functioning of organs inside the body. Nerve signals can be stimulated or inhibited by neurotransmitters.
Acupuncture in the present day is preferred greatly over chemical medicines, because it is a safe way of treatment and has practically no side-effects.