Every year thousands of people resort to acupuncture treatment in order to get relief from chronic or acute pain. Most of them swear by its effectiveness. But what does science have to say on the matter? Can this therapy be regarded as an effective universal treatment? Let’s find out by looking at the main viewpoints and the most recent research findings.
Chinese Medicine Explanation
According to the ancient Chinese medicine, acupuncture works to release the blockages preventing the free flow of the internal body energy called Chi. Each needle is inserted into a precise meridian point. When this is done, it works to relieve the pressure in this point. As a result, the Chi energy can move freely along the respective meridian and around the entire body. In this way, the patient feels better both physically and mentally.
Modern Medicine Explanation
The modern Western medicine does not accept the theory that there is an internally flowing energy and that this energy travels along special meridians or channels. However, modern doctors and researchers agree that the meridian points are truly special. These are unique trigger points. When they are pressed, pain radiates away from the centre. In this way, it is virtually defused and the patient feels relief.
The meridian or trigger points are special for one other reason. They are directly linked to major nerves centres in the body. Through the insertion of the needles, these nerves are naturally stimulated. As a result, the body releases endorphins. These neurotransmitters are often referred to as hormones of happiness. They make you feel physically relaxed and have a stimulating, refreshing effect at the same time. They help for pain reduction and make you feel good overall.
The Latest Scientific Research
One of the latest studies on acupuncture was carried out by leading German researchers in major European hospitals. They research revealed that this therapy simulates the secretion of a certain type of chemokine known as CXCL-10. This is a tiny protein molecule which works to attract white blood cells to a particular cell or group of cells which have been affected by a virus, bacterium or another kind of external threat.
Via this small molecule, the needle therapy stimulates the response of the immune system and helps to produce an anti-inflammatory effect. As inflammation is reduced, pain is naturally relieved. This new research explains why the therapy is highly effective for arthritis and similar inflammatory conditions.
The medical and scientific evidence that acupuncture is highly effective for pain relief is growing all the time. The best thing which you can do is to try it.