Acupuncture is a modality that works well in conjunction with manual therapy and exercise to provide an integrated therapeutic approach to the treatment of pain, headaches and a variety of neuromuscular disorders.
Acupuncture is the treatment of pain or disease by inserting tips of needles at specific acupuncture points on the skin. The needles are quite small, with a flat tip, so that tissue is separated rather than pierced. Sometimes, the treatment involves putting an electric current through the needle to influence structures along the acupuncture channel between points.
Contemporary acupuncture is an effective and simple treatment approach based on current concepts of neurophysiology, neuroanatomy and pathophysiology.
The effects of acupuncture on the human body are well researched and include muscle relaxation, pain modulation, as well as anatomic (organ), neuroendocrine (gland), and immune responses. When an organ, nerve, muscle or other tissue is diseased, a reflex mechanism refers pain, sensitivity and muscle contraction to the body’s acupuncture points. During acupuncture, changes occur both locally at the site of the needle to increase blood flow, relax oxygen-deficient muscles and release endorphins, the body’s natural painkillers. Acupuncture also activates the body’s pain modulatory system, changing the processing and perception of pain in the brain and spinal cord to produce pain relief.