How Acupuncture helps is a frequently asked questions that my patients ask me in my acupuncture office in Ridgewood, NJ in the Bergen County Area. I explain to the patients that there is nothing injected through the needle – no medications, no pain relievers, and no analgesic. It is a common misconception that acupuncture needling is similar to taking an aspirin or getting an injection as you would to alleviate pain. There are 3 “magical effects” of acupuncture to your body. Here they are:
Acupuncture increases the blood flow to the area of pain – One way how acupuncture helps is when the body is in pain, it constricts blood flow to the painful area. Without adequate blood flow, the body cannot heal itself quickly. By increasing the blood flow to the area, it helps to reduce this constriction, getting nutrients into the site of injury so your muscles and surrounding tissues can heal quicker.
Acupuncture increases nerve flow – Another way how acupuncture helps is by increasing nerve flow through neuro-vascular nodes, it can increase nerve flow to the area of pain. Stimulating an acupuncture point affects flow to the nerves of the body specifically to the area of pain. The acupuncture points actually connect to specific nerve pathways which can turn on or off nerves that are firing too much causing the pain.
Acupuncture causes the body to release pain relieving substances – The last way how acupuncture helps is as follows: Many patients ask me, is there any medication in the needles. This underscores the misconception that many people have about acupuncture. Unlike injection therapy, acupuncture sparks the body to heal itself. It stimulates the body to release substances that can reduce pain and act as natural pain killers. Acupuncture releases neurotransmitters, anti-inflammatory prostaglandins, and substance P. It does so by stimulating the endocrine system to release these substances so the body can get out of pain. Acupuncture needles attract natural steroids of the body to repair muscle tissues.
To get these results acupuncture must be used at a frequent enough intervals to get the body to self-correct. It is a lot different than taking an aspirin. In fact the number one reason people fail to see the results of acupuncture is that they get look at getting treated with acupuncture like they are taking a pain medication. Take two tablets and the pain is gone. Not so with acupuncture! Since acupuncture is making the body do the healing, it needs to be done regularly. Misguided patients simply don’t get the treatments long enough or frequent enough for a sustained push until the body recalibrates and settles back to normal so they give up. Remember, if you can reduce the pain with acupuncture and it keeps the pain down, the pain relief in the long run will be longer lasting than aspirin.
So in severe pain treating more is better. I usually recommend 3 times a week for 2 weeks then twice a week for 3 weeks. For more moderate pain, I recommend acupuncture twice a week until the pain is gone. The rule however for treating any type of pain is frequency. For stress relief or anxiety, acupuncture done once a week to twice a month is really helpful for maintenance.
So it is not the magic in the needle, rather it is the effects that the acupuncture needle has on the body that is magical!
Knowing how acupuncture helps the body makes it more understandable, but it does not diminish it’s magic abilities.
If you are interested in getting help for your specific health problem, we are here to help. Please call me for your 30 minute consultation so we can see if acupuncture is suitable for you. I am never too busy to help you.
Call now at 201-444-7150 or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org