Alternative healing methods are gaining acceptance and popularity in many industrialized nations of the world. Methods like acupuncture have ancient roots but are being used today because they are effective for a number of health problems. If you are curious about whether acupuncture might be right for your needs, here are 4 solid reasons why acupuncture works and why many health professionals are recommending it for their patients.

Understanding Acupuncture

Acupuncture is an ancient Chinese healing practice that has been used for thousands of years to reduce pain and improve health. The practice uses very fine needles that are inserted into specific meridians in the body to block energy pathways. The needles are left in place for a period of time and are sometimes heated or given an electrical charge to increase the effects. The process is not painful but may produce a pinching effect at the sites of the needles. After the session, the needles are removed, and the patient can continue their normal activities. There are generally no side effects produced by the acupuncture process. A number of scientific studies have been done on acupuncture and its effects that indicate it can be a highly effective method for some patients.

1 – Aids in Relaxation

In clinical studies, acupuncture has been found to release a variety of naturally occurring compounds that help to relax the individuals and reduce the sensation of pain. This process involves the production and release of biochemicals such as serotonin, dopamine, norepinephrine, glutamate, gamma-amino-butyric acid, and nitric oxide. Both opioid and non-opioid neuropeptides are released to reduce pain and improve tolerance.

2 –  Reduces Inflammation

Acupuncture produces anti-inflammatory effects in the body that help to relieve inflammation which is an intrinsic part of many medical conditions. The practice does this by stimulating multiple neuro-immune pathways in the body that are associated with inflammatory response. Acupuncture also inhibits the pro-inflammatory cytokines that are found in a variety of troublesome health problems.

3 – Benefits the Nervous System

New studies show that acupuncture produces effects on the nervous system in the body in very specific ways. Acupuncture works by disrupting the branching point of certain types of nerve called C fibers. These fibers are involved in transmitting sensory information across long distances in the body, using intermediate Merkel cells to carry the messaging. This effect on nerve function is key to providing a reduction in the sensation of pain and improved mood in individuals who undergo acupuncture treatment.

4 – Releases Natural Chemicals

Acupuncture releases relaxing, pleasurable natural chemicals that cause patients to find their sessions enjoyable. Some patients report feeling energized after their acupuncture session. Others report feeling a relaxed response to treatment. In either case, these effects are likely to cause patients to continue their treatment until maximum effectiveness is achieved. The positive effects of acupuncture can help to eliminate treatment resistance and help patients complete their course of care, for the best outcomes.

Today, individuals can choose from both traditional and alternative medical treatments. Acupuncture is increasingly being used to relieve pain and improve function for many health issues.