Acupuncture is a complementary medical practice that entails stimulating certain points (acupuncture points) on the body, most often with a needle penetrating the skin, to relieve specific symptoms associated with various diseases. The acupuncture points are thought to have electrical properties, which stimulate the central nervous system to releases chemicals into the muscles, spinal cord, and brain. These chemicals either change the experience of pain or release other chemicals, such as hormones, that influence the body's self-regulating systems. The biochemical changes produced by acupuncture may result in stimulating the body's natural healing abilities, and in promoting the physical and emotional well-being.
In Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) theory, it is believed that Qi (the universal life force energy) flows throughout our bodies in channels called meridians. The meridians serve to connect the interior organs of the body with the exterior points on the skin. Any misdirection, blockage, or other derangement of the amount, flow, or balance of Qi may result in pain, dysfunction and illness. By using acupuncture needles or other means, the acupuncturist stimulates acupuncture points, along the meridians. Such stimulation helps to restore the balance and normal flow of the body’s Qi energy, so organs and bodily systems can work together in great harmony as intended. This harmony allows the body to repair itself and maintain its innate balance and health.
In modern “Neurotransmitter Theory”, acupuncture affects higher brain areas, stimulating the secretion of endorphins in the brain, which are the body's natural pain medication hormones. Acupuncture has been scientifically proven to reduce pain and inflammation, improve blood circulation and nerve conduction, promote tissue healing, reduce stress and anxiety, and help control addictions.