I get asked all the time: “Does acupuncture really work?”
Acupuncture is an ancient Chinese medicine-based approach to treating a variety of conditions by triggering specific points on the skin with needles. It is a minimally invasive method to stimulate nerve-rich areas of the skin surface to influence tissues, gland, organs, and various functions of the body. Science is continuing to prove that acupuncture works.
Each acupuncture needle produces a tiny injury at the insertion site, and although it’s slight enough to cause little to no discomfort, it’s enough of a signal to let the body know it needs to respond. This response involves stimulation of the immune system, promoting circulation to the area, wound healing, and pain modulation.
While everyone’s results and experiences with acupuncture may differ, there have been countless studies that demonstrate the effectiveness. The University of Pennsylvania conducted a research study with breast cancer patients that showed promising results. Often, breast cancer patients are given aromatase inhibitors (AIs) for treatment that can cause severe joint pain as a side effect. This study documented that those who received acupuncture treatments while taking AIs noticed a strong decrease in the amount of pain they experienced.
There is nothing mystical or magical about acupuncture. It is a clinical modality designed to help balance your body’s various interconnected systems. Research continues to explore the possible neurochemical mechanisms of acupuncture’s pain-relieving effects. This means that many believe that acupuncture works by stimulating a nerve in the body that then sends a signal to the brain to release pain relieving hormones including beta-Endorphins. These hormones can help suppress pain and increase your overall mood, happiness, and pleasure.
Yes, acupuncture really works! Science is showing us more and more how effective it can be for pain management and keeping us healthy.