But What Are the Needles Actually Doing? Part 3

This is the final installment in the blog series summarizing the effects of acupuncture according to Western science.  What follows is what we know about acupuncture and the changes it makes in your circulation.

It makes sense that when you insert a needle, even a very small one like an acupuncture needle, that the body increases blood flow to the area.  It pays attention and starts to shift resources to the area.  This is a reasonable explanation for how acupuncture can help issues such as muscle pain.  It brings healing resources to the area, including more blood and oxygen, to release tension and repair tissue.

What is perhaps less predictable, however, is that inserting a needle into the skin can also create particular shifts in blood flow to other parts of the body.  This has been demonstrated in relation to acupuncture.

A needle in an acupuncture point called Liver 3, which is located on the top of the foot between the big toe and second toe, is classically indicated for eye problems and diseases of the head such as dizziness, vertigo, and headache.  Interestingly enough, stimulation of this acupuncture point in a study was associated with measurable changes in circulation to the upper part of the body.

Likewise, an acupuncture point called Stomach 36, which is located on the shin, is classically indicated for digestive issues and problems of the abdomen.  The same researchers demonstrated a shift in blood flow to the blood vessels that supply the abdomen when this point was needled.

Amazing, no?

Let’s summarize.  Acupuncture has been shown to make changes in the nervous system, especially the central nervous system.  Acupuncture has also been shown to alter and balance the major categories of chemicals in your system.  These include hormones, neurotransmitters, and opioids.  Finally, acupuncture has been shown to change circulation and blood flow in your body.

A teacher of mine says, “When you insert an acupuncture needle, a million things happen.”  This makes sense since our bodies are highly intricate systems, and when you influence one part it also creates changes in other parts.  There is no way to avoid a systemic shift. That is why acupuncture is so versatile and useful for so many health problems.  It is why it can treat asthma and sciatica, eating disorders and herniated discs, sinus congestion and infertility.  When you balance the body as a whole, many conditions improve.

If you are interested in experiencing the healing effects of acupuncture, please call to make an appointment. I would love to be of service. 323-475-9282