Originating in ancient China, acupuncture has helped treat various ailments for thousands of years. In the early years of acupuncture, it was believed that the flow of qi (life energy) was responsible for a person’s health and that specific points on the body were used to regulate this flow.
Ancient peoples devised a comprehensive “map” of the body displaying hundreds of points where the flow of qi could be parted or corrected by inserting tiny, hair-thin needles. These points, known as meridians, continue to be used by acupuncturists to this day.
Modern medicine tends to view acupuncture in terms of its effects on the central nervous system, which routes sensations and commands throughout the body in much the same way as qi.
Acupuncture works to relieve pain by stimulating the production of the body’s endorphins and natural pain relievers. In addition, acupuncture is said to influence the electrical activity in nerve cells by changing the calcium ion levels.
NJ Spine and Wellness recommends acupuncture for patients experiencing back or neck pain. However, acupuncture may be used to help treat the following conditions as well:
- Migraines and headaches
- Sciatica pain
Acupuncture can also be used to aid in prenatal and postnatal care. Furthermore, acupuncture may be used as a preventative technique due to its ability to optimize the immune response in the body.