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What is Acupuncture

Very few people are aware of what is acupuncture. Here is an overview of what is acupuncture and it’s working. Acupuncture is the process of stimulating particular points situated on the skin surface which can alter the physiological and biochemical reactions in the body so as to obtain the desired effect.
Many people question how does acupuncture work to treat the body ailments as it is just insertion of needles. So, let us see how it works and the various diseases it can treat.


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The working of Acupuncture

The specific points that are used in Acupuncture are said to have certain degree of electrical sensitivity. Insertion of needles at these points is expected to stimulate specific sensory receptors which in turn transmit impulses to the hypothalamic-pituitary gland situated at the base of the brain.

Upon stimulation the hypothalamic pituitary gland releases neurotransmitters and endorphins which are the pain killers secreted within the body. Endorphins are highly powerful and influence the functioning of other hormones and thus they play role in bringing the desired change.

Needles used in Acupuncture

Disposable needles that are made of stainless steel wire are used in acupuncture. They vary from 13 to 130mm in length. The shorter needles are used in areas such as the eyes and the face, and the longer needles are used for insertion in the more chubby areas. Care is taken while designing the needles so that the tip is neither too sharp nor too blunt. The sharp tips break easily and the blunt needle causes severe pain while insertion.

Diseases that can be Treated with Acupuncture

  • The endorphins secreted as a result of acupuncture play role in relaxing the entire body.
  • Shows excellent results for back pain and arthritis.
  • Influence the secretion of serotonin in the brain and helps in elevating the symptoms of depression.
  • Promotes blood circulation throughout the body and thus reduces inflammation and muscle spasms.
  • Increases the T-cell count and thereby stimulates the immune system.
  • Helps to regulate nausea and vomiting.
  • Reduces infertility and increases the chances of conception and child birth.
    Methods used for disease diagnosis

Now as you know what acupuncture is and how does acupuncture works, you might have understood that specific acupuncture points should be used for treatment of a particular disease.

An acupuncturist uses four methods for disease diagnosis.They are

  1. Facial inspection which focuses on the tongue i.e. its size, tension, shape and the coating on it.
  2. Auscultation and olfaction that aim at listening to specific sounds and the body odor.
  3. Inquiries about the individuals thirst, taste, appetite, chills, pain, sleep, urination etc.
  4. Checking the palpitation of the left and right radial pulses at both superficial and deep levels of pressure.
    Lastly, acupuncture is being preferred now-a-days as it has fewer side effects than drugs used in the treatment of various ailments. However, researchers are still unable to demonstrate scientifically how does acupuncture works through the specific points on the skin surface and even the existence of these acupuncture points.


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