What is Acupuncture?
The stimulation of certain points on or near the surface of the body by the insertion of needles to prevent or modify the perception of pain or to normalize psychological functions, including pain control, for the treatment of diseases of dysfunctions of the body and includes the techniques of electroacupuncture, mechanical stimulation, adjunctive therapies and moxibustion. Acupuncture is now covered by many insurance policies and is used most broadly to relieve pain.
During the initial exam, a full health history will be taken. Questions will be asked regarding symptoms, health and lifestyle. The acupuncturist may check pulses and tongue. This information is then organized to create a diagnosis of your body condition. After the interview process, you may receive an acupuncture treatment. The acupuncturist will place fine, sterile acupoints on the body. It is a safe and effective way to treat a wide variety of medical problems.
A treatment normally takes about 45 to 60 minutes.
Currently, there is no western scientific theory that explains all of the psychological mechanisms underlying the effects of Acupuncture. This is because Acupuncture has a range of therapeutic effects on the body thus the action must vary depending on the type of pathology. However, it is said that acupuncture primarily produces its effect through regulating the nervous system. Regulation of the nervous system helps the activity of pain-killing biochemicals such as endorphins and immune system cells at specific sites in the body. In addition, studies have shown that acupuncture may alter brain chemistry by changing the release of neurotransmitters and neurohormones. These affect the parts of the central nervous system related to sensation and involuntary body functions, such as immune reactions and processes that regulate a person’s blood pressure, blood flow, and body temperature.
Acupuncture For Low Back Pain
A 2012 analysis of data on participants in acupuncture studies looked at back and neck pain together and found that actual acupuncture was more helpful than either no acupuncture or stimulated acupuncture.
A 2010 review by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality found that acupuncture relieved low-back pain immediately after treatment but not over longer periods of time.
A 2008 systematic review of studies on acupuncture for low-back pain found strong evidence that combining acupuncture with usual care helps more than usual care alone. The same review also found strong evidence that there is no difference between the effects of actual and stimulated acupuncture in people with low-back pain.