Acupuncture works by stimulating the body’s own natural healing mechanisms. The needles are used as tools to help prod the body to release held energy or blockages and stimulate blood flow and other bodily systems so that healing can occur.
Respective studies thus far have shown that acupuncture regulates the nervous system and has an effect on specific regions in the brain that are associated with pain and pain perception, emotions and addictive behaviors.
Specifically, acupuncture has been shown to activate pain blocking neuropeptides such as enkephalins, beta-endorphins and dynorphins which play a large role in “disrupting” pain perception networks and pathways. It was recently discovered that acupuncture has a great impact on reducing inflammation in the body and is being examined and used more and more for helping with opioid addictions.
Studies have also shown that acupuncture works through our connective tissue. Our bodies all contain a connective tissue network that surrounds every bone, ligament, organ, etc. and is responsive to mechanical stimuli.
A top respected researcher in our field, Dr. Helen Langevin has revealed through her work that acupuncture meridians lie at deeper fascial connective tissue planes and because of this may be even more responsive to mechanical stimuli such as an acupuncture needle into an acupuncture point.
Her studies have also shown that there are actual changes in the tissue at the site of needle insertion, which are believed to play a significant role in cellular changes at the acupuncture points and along the connective tissue planes.