Acupuncture is the stimulation of specific points on the body, acupoints, which communicate with one or more internal organs by way of a meridian. Meridians are pathways made up of multiple acupoints, which are associated with specific organs in the body. Acupuncture points are located primarily over nervous tissue including free nerve endings, spinal nerve roots, or nerves bundles. These points also contain a high concentration of blood vessels and neurochemicals and have been shown to have a lower electrical resistance and higher electrical conduction, resulting in a stronger stimulation of the nervous system.
Stimulation of an acupuncture point will create a local inflammatory reaction, release of neurochemicals, and stimulation of peripheral nerves and the spinal cord. Responses within the body include release of hormones from the brain or organs, increased or decreased blood flow into tissues and organs, release of trigger points, increased or decreased heart and respiratory rate, release of neurochemicals that block pain, increase or decrease gut motility, along with a variety of other reactions within the body. In simple terms acupuncture points provide external access to the neuroendocrine system to influence bodily functions.
Acupuncture points can be stimulated with needles, lasers, electrical currents, or with cupping. Points can also be injected with medications, homeopathic’s or vitamins like B 12 to enhance a desired response. Manual pressure or massage can be used to stimulate points but does not create as strong of a reaction, which can be beneficial in older or weak patients.
Acupuncture can be used to treat a great variety of soft tissue, orthopedic and internal medicine issues, many of which are listed below. Western scientific research through the National Institutes of health, NHI, and Veterinary hospitals and Universities, has confirmed the physiologic responses and benefits of acupuncture. Acupuncture is commonly used in conjunction with nutritional/dietary changes, specific stretches or exercises, and/or Chinese herbs. If you have an interest in treatment an appointment can be scheduled with Dr. Adams at either of the locations listed on the home page.