Acupuncture is a treatment derived from ancient Asian medicine. It is not just from China. Very fine pins are inserted into points on the body to restore good health.
Acupuncture is classified in western countries as a complementary or alternative therapy.
How Acupuncture Works
From a biomedical viewpoint, acupuncture works by regulating neuromodulation, such as vagus nerve stimulation and has been used for inflammation control and pain treatment.
In addition, acupuncture and sciatic nerve activation also regulates inflammation through vagus nerve activation and dopamine release.
Uses of Acupuncture
In western countries, acupuncture is commonly used for:
In East Asia, it is used to treat more health problems.
How Acupuncture Is Performed
After a consultation where you'll be asked lots of questions about all aspects of your life, you'll be asked to lie down on a couch and roll up your sleeves and trousers legs.
Very fine pins the size of a human hair will be inserted into various areas of your body. The pins are inserted from 2mm to 4cm depending on the area.
You'll then be allowed to rest with the needles in for around 20-25 minutes. Normally, relaxing music will be played to you.
After 20-25 minutes, the pins will be removed and placed in a sharps box, which when full will be incinerated.
After finishing the acupuncture treatment you can return back to your normal life.
Ji, R.-R., Chamessian, A., & Zhang, Y.-Q. (2016). Pain Regulation by Non-neuronal Cells and Inflammation. Science (New York, N.Y.), 354(6312), 572–577. http://doi.org/10.1126/science.aaf8924