Acupuncture is one of the many medical systems of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) that has been employed for over 3,000 years to diagnose, treat and prevent various illnesses. Acupuncture can treat acute or chronic disorders to alleviate pain, improve recuperative capability, and strengthen the immune system. Acupuncture is performed by an expertly trained Acupuncturist through the insertion of a very thin sterile filiform needle at a specific point on the body to promote healing.
"If there is pain, there is no free flow. If there is free flow, there is no pain." -Chinese Proverb
How Acupuncture Works
From a scientific perspective, acupuncture works through several mechanisms, including:
Stimulation of the nervous system: Acupuncture has been shown to activate nerve fibers and trigger the release of pain-relieving and anti-inflammatory chemicals, such as endorphins, in the body.
Modulation of the immune system: Acupuncture has been shown to influence the activity of immune cells, such as T cells and cytokines, and help regulate the immune system.
Regulation of blood flow: Acupuncture has been shown to increase blood flow to specific areas of the body, which can help improve circulation, reduce inflammation, and promote healing.
Activation of the hypothalamus-pituitary-adrenal axis: Acupuncture has been shown to activate the hypothalamus-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis, which is a complex network of hormones that helps regulate stress and physiological responses to stress.
Alteration of brain activity: Acupuncture has been shown to alter brain activity, including changes in brain wave patterns and the release of neurotransmitters, such as serotonin, which can help regulate pain, mood, and sleep.
While the exact mechanism by which acupuncture activates the nervous system is not well understood, it is clear that this practice can have a significant impact on the nervous system and can help to reduce pain, improve circulation, and enhance overall well-being. Studies are being conducted to better understand the mechanisms of action of acupuncture and its effects on the nervous system.
Acupuncture Treatment Frequency
The frequency of follow-up acupuncture treatments can vary depending on the individual's condition and the severity of their pain. In general, it is recommended that patients receive follow-up acupuncture treatments once a week or every other week. However, some patients may need to receive treatments more frequently, while others may only need occasional maintenance treatments. The frequency of follow-up acupuncture treatments can be determined by the acupuncturist based on the patient's progress and response to treatment. It is important to communicate the needs and concerns with your acupuncturist to ensure that their treatment plan is tailored to their specific needs.
Here are some general guidelines:
Acute conditions: For acute conditions, follow-up treatments may be scheduled several times a week until the condition improves.
Chronic conditions: For chronic conditions, follow-up treatments may be scheduled once or twice a week initially and then reduced to once or twice a month for maintenance.
Maintenance phase: After the initial phase, follow-up treatments can be reduced to once or twice a month for maintenance purposes.
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