Acupuncture therapy is based on the concept of “chi” (pronounced Chee) – the subtle energy of the universe present in all living forms. This energy flows through various channels known as meridians to maintain good physical and mental health.
Historically acupuncture was practiced with bian stones, wood or bone needles and metal needles. With the advances in recent medicines, the fine acupuncture needles can be used directly or adding electrical impulses, vibrations, sound waves and lasers to it.
Acupuncture Seattle is a Chinese form of alternative medicine that has been traditionally used since more than 4000 years and recently gained popularity amongst the western countries. It involves insertion of needles into particular points on the body to restore health and treat various diseases. The exact mechanism of acupuncture is still obscure though the therapy has achieved a new dimension by its effective blend with modern techniques to treat various illnesses. The theories put forth regarding the working of acupuncture are as:
Traditional Chinese Theory of Acupuncture– Interrupted or deficient flow of chi energy is considered to cause various disorders. Traditional acupuncture seeks to relieve these blocked channels by insertion of thin needles along the specific acupuncture points.
Augmentation of Immunity Theory of Acupuncture– The theory suggests that acupressure boosts the overall immunity of the body to fight disease by raising the levels of antibodies, prostaglandins and white blood cells.
Gate Control Theory for Pain of Acupuncture– Melzack and Wall introduced this theory in early 1960’s. As per the theory the brain perceives the pain depending upon the signals that reach it through the nerve gates in the spinal cord. Through acupuncture the nerve gates inhibit the transmission of pain stimuli and stimulate the pain relieving nerve fibres.
Endorphin Theory of Acupuncture– Endorphins are chemicals in the central nervous system that act as pain inhibitors. Acupuncture triggers the release of hormones endorphin, enkephalin and serotonin that display pain-relieving properties.
Electrical theory of Acupuncture– As per this theory acupuncture regulates the electromagnetic energy in the body. These electrical discharges stimulate the functions and development of body cells. Medical research has documented the correlatives between meridians and the electromagnetic field.
Circulation Theory– Needles used in acupressure act by constricting or dilating the blood vessels that improves blood circulation.
Recent clinical trials on acupuncture suggest a hypothesis that diffuse noxious inhibitory control (DNIC) has some role to play in causing an analgesic effect. This means that acupuncture induces an analgesic system within the body that cannot perceive the pain even in the presence of pain signals.
Though there are many theories put forth to explain how acupuncture works, none of them can satisfactorily explain it with the help of western model of medicine. However, effects of acupuncture are far from placebo results and it has been used as a best pain control therapy in chronic illnesses. It also helps in treating, immune disorders, psychological illnesses and addictions.