How does acupuncture work for pain?

Acupuncture is believed to work for pain by stimulating the body's own pain-relieving mechanisms.

  • The thin needles used in acupuncture are inserted into specific points on the body, called acupoints.
  • These points are located on pathways, called meridians, which are thought to connect the surface of the body to internal organs.
  • When the needles are inserted, they are thought to stimulate the release of certain chemicals in the body, such as endorphins and enkephalins, which are natural pain-relieving substances.
  • These chemicals can help to decrease the sensation of pain, reduce inflammation, and promote healing.
  • Acupuncture may also work by affecting the nervous system.
  • The needles may stimulate nerve fibers that carry pain signals, leading to a decrease in the transmission of these signals to the brain.
  • Additionally, acupuncture may also affect the activity of certain brain regions that are involved in the perception of pain.

It's worth noting that the exact mechanisms by which acupuncture works for pain relief are not fully understood and more research is needed to confirm and understand how it works.

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