Acupuncture is a complementary medical practice involving stimulation of points on a body, mainly with a needle, penetrating the skin, for treatment of pain or other medical conditions.
Ages ago this treatment technique was developed in China. Recently scientists and researchers in various studies in the USA and Europe found that acupuncture is moderately effective for treating someone in pain and nausea.
How does acupuncture works?
Around from 100 B.C. acupuncture has been used in China, as writing was found from that time describing treatment done using needles. But it is believed that the treatment goes far beyond that period too.
As per traditional Chinese, it is believed that when the flow of energy (qi in Chinese) in the body gets disrupted, diseases are caused. Using acupuncture, the stimulation points that are under the skin called as acupuncture points; qi is released. Then the qi moves through the channels.
But today, in the western world, the acupuncture is not based on the theory of Qi. The western scientists are researching to find the mechanism of acupuncture for many years, and they have some of their own hypothesis.
One major hypothesis state that through specific points the nerves are stimulated. The brain gets the signal from the nerve, and releases beta-Endorphins, neural hormones. The patient starts feeling happy or euphoric, and the patient’s pain threshold increases and so they feel less pain.
Another hypothesis says that acupuncture reduces inflammation. It does so by reducing proteins or pro-inflammatory markers in the body. When the study was done on some animals and humans, it was found that acupuncture decreases pro-inflammatory markers significantly, such as TNF and IL-1β, which is responsible for reducing pain and decreasing inflammation.
As per another hypothesis that is related to chemo-induced peripheral neuropathy, acupuncture is used to treat damages of nerve. The patient in this condition feels numbness in their hands and feet. The needle is pushed through certain points, and it stimulates the brain, and brain secretes nerve growth factor to help the nerve to regenerate.
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