Uses and Benefits of Acupuncture

Uses The NCCIH (National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health) note that it has been proven to help in cases of: •low back pain •neck pain •osteoarthritis •knee pain •headache and migraine They list additional disorders that may benefit from acupuncture, but which require further scientific confirmation. Also the World Health Organization (WHO) listed a number of conditions in which they say acupuncture has been proven effective. These include: •high and low blood pressure •chemotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting •some gastric conditions, including peptic ulcer •painful periods •dysentery •allergic rhinitis •facial pain •morning sickness •rheumatoid arthritis •sprains •tennis elbow •sciatica •dental pain •reducing the...

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Nerve Repair and Acupuncture

Acupuncture repairs injured nerves. Findings published in Neural Regeneration Research demonstrate that acupuncture causes injured lower and upper limb motor nerves to repair. Electromyographic nerve conduction tests of acupuncture patients with nerve injuries document “an effective response” in 80% of patients participating in the study. Electromyography confirms that acupuncture significantly improves motor nerve conduction velocity and amplitude and also promotes functional nerve repair. The researchers made an important discovery. A special set of acupuncture points resulted in good to excellent clinical responses at a very high rate. Using only local acupuncture points, patients had an effective rate of 38.5%. By adding...

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Biochemical Changes and Acupuncture

Researchers have discovered that acupuncture causes a special biochemical reaction that reduces inflammation and muscle pain. The study, published in Molecular Neurobiology, investigated the effects of needling one acupuncture point on the leg. The research team measured a remarkable effect.  Manual acupuncture stimulation downregulated M1 macrophages (pro-inflammatory cells) and upregulated M2 macrophages (anti-inflammatory cells). As a result, acupuncture reduced pain and swelling. This neurobiological acupuncture continuing education study solves a great mystery, how does acupuncture work? The secret is in the biochemistry. M2 macrophages are an important source of IL-10 (interleukin-10), an anti-inflammatory cytokine that plays an important role in immune responses. Cytokines are proteins released by cells that regulate reactions between cells. Manual acupuncture successfully downregulates M1 macrophages and upregulates M2 macrophages thereby promoting the release of greater IL-10 concentrations. As a result of IL-10 release, pain and inflammation significantly reduce. This study measured responses in muscle tissues and confirmed that M1 to M2 macrophage phenotype switching is triggered by acupuncture stimulation. Acupuncture literally flips a switch wherein initial inflammatory responses are reduced and the secondary healing responses are promoted. M1 macrophage downregulation and M2 macrophage upregulation triggered by acupuncture was positively associated with reductions in muscle pain and inflammation. The researchers tested the biochemical process by adding an IL-10 blocking agent in the laboratory experiment. When IL-10 was chemically blocked, acupuncture did not reduce pain and swelling. However,...

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Anti-inflammatory Acupuncture

Acupuncture reduces inflammation and researchers have discovered how it works. In a laboratory controlled scientific investigation, a key biological marker has been identified, quantified, and directly correlated with the application of acupuncture. Acupuncture successfully downregulates a proinflammatory biochemical (tumor necrosis factor alpha), which results in anti-inflammatory responses. In addition, the researchers have mapped the neural pathways by which acupuncture signaling stimulates anti-inflammatory effects. Researchers in Korea have identified a mechanism by which acupuncture stimulation at the acupoint ST36 (Zusanli) has an anti-inflammatory effect. By downregulating tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNF-α), acupuncture relieves systemic inflammation. By testing the effects that...

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