Acupuncture involves the insertion of very fine needles, the diameter of a hair, at specific points over the body. The needles are sterile and disposable. During the session the patient lies down comfortably on a treatment table while the practitioner places the needles. This procedure is not painful, although some points are more sensitive than others and some people may feel a slight tingling sensation for a few seconds.
Mechanism of action:
- Acupuncture acts on the nerve fibers that inhibit the sympathetic system at the medullary level.
- Activation of the body’s natural opioid system. Studies support the claim that acupuncture releases synthetic opioids or natural chemicals in the brain that can reduce pain or induce sleep. This chemical process has a hypnotic effect and has obtained excellent results in the treatment of insomnia.
- Change in the secretion of neurotransmitters and neuro-hormones.Acupuncture affects the chemistry of the brain in a positive way. This is accomplished through the release of neurotransmitters (biochemical substances that stimulate or inhibit nerve impulses) and neuro-hormones (chemical substances of natural origin that affect the activity of an organ of the body).
- Stimulation of the hypothalamus and the pituitary gland: Attached at the base of the brain, the hypothalamus and pituitary gland are responsible for many body functions. The hypothalamus activates and controls part of the nervous system, the endocrine process, and different body functions, among which are sleep, the regulation of temperature, and appetite.
- Conduction of electromagnetic signal. Acupuncture points are physiological conductors of electromagnetic signals. The stimulation of these points enables electromagnetic signals to activate cells of the immune system so that perception of pain and sensory abnormalities are modified.