Acupuncture and Oriental medicine have been employed as primary health care modalities for more than 5,000 years. Modern Western science is just beginning to explore these approaches with exciting new studies conducted by leading scientists, hospitals and medical research facilities from all over the world.
Current Western medical theories describing why acupuncture works:
1) Neurotransmitter Theory
Acupuncture affects higher brain areas, stimulating the secretion of beta-endorphins and enkephalins in the brain and spinal cord. The release of neurotransmitters influences the immune system and the antinociceptive system.
2) Blood Chemistry Theory
Acupuncture affects the blood concentrations of triglycerides, cholesterol and phospholipids, suggesting acupuncture can both raise and diminish peripheral blood components, thereby regulating the body toward homeostasis.
3) Autonomic Nervous System Theory
Acupuncture stimulates the release of norepinephrine, acetylcholine and several types of opioids, affecting changes in their turnover rate, normalizing the autonomic nervous system and reducing pain.
4) Vascular-interstitial Theory
Acupuncture affects the electrical system of the body by creating or enhancing closed-circuit transport in tissues. This facilitates healing by allowing the transfer of material and electrical energy between normal and injured tissues.
5) Gate Control Theory
Acupuncture activates non-nociceptive receptors that inhibit the transmission of nociceptive signals in the dorsal horn, “gating out” painful stimuli.
If you would like to dig even deeper, below are links to the latest research into my specializations: