Acupuncture is based on the idea of free flow of everything in the body nerve signals, lymph fluid, circulation etc. When there is a disruption in that flow, we encounter pain, discomfort, and disease. It is our job as Acupuncture Physicians to figure out where the disruption is and how to unblock it.
Hip, Knee, Foot Pain
For those of you that would prefer a more Western Medical Model explanation there are several theories on how acupuncture relieves pain:
- “Augmentation of Immunity” Theory. Acupuncture raises levels of triglycerides, specific hormones, prostaglandins, white blood counts, gamma globulins, opsonins, and overall anti-body levels.
- The “Endorphin Theory” states that acupuncture stimulates the secretions of endorphins in the body (specifically Enkaphalins).
- The “Neurotransmitter Theory” states that certain neurotransmitter levels (such as Seratonin and Noradrenaline) are positively affected by acupuncture.
- The “Circulatory Theory” holds that acupuncture has the effect of constriction or dilation of blood vessels. This may be caused by the body’s release of Vasodilaters (such as Histamine), in response to acupuncture.
- “Gate Theory” states that the perception of pain is controlled by a part of the nervous system that regulates the impulse, which will later be interpreted as pain. This part of the nervous system is called the “Gate”. If the gate is hit with too many impulses, it is overwhelmed and closes, preventing the pain impulse from getting through. Acupuncture treats the smallest gates and nerve fibers which are the ones first affected.