Acupuncture is a crazy voodoo medicine… right? Wrong… but how can you contextualize acupuncture to the typical American? There are known mechanisms for how acupuncture works which reflect the ancient description of acupuncture and have a common sense application to disease. When a needle is inserted it acts as an irritant, which makes your body try to work out the needle as it would a splinter. With that the immune complement system is activated which increases local blood circulation to clear the irritant.(1) Acupuncture then acts as a stimulant for poor blood circulation. This relates to pain extensively. For example, aching tired muscles are ischemic (poor blood circulation). In fact, poor blood circulation is involved in most painful conditions in one way or another. Increasing the blood flow is one mechanism that can help to reduce the pain.
Stay Tuned for more mechanisms of acupuncture described in simplified terms.