Q&A about Acupuncture

Q: What is acupuncture?

A: Based on California Acupuncture Board, acupuncture means the stimulation of a certain point or points on or near the surface of the body by the insertion of needles to prevent or modify the perception of pain or to normalize physiological functions, including pain control, for the treatment of certain diseases or dysfunctions of the body and includes the techniques of electroacupuncture, cupping, and moxibustion.  

Q: What conditions can be treated with acupuncture?

A: Acupuncture has therapeutic effect on the following conditions, based on medical researches and World Health Organization (WHO): 

1. Mental and neurological conditions: Anxiety, stress, depression, sleep problems, dementia, parkinson, Alzheimer’s disease, stroke, headache, migraine, paralysis, bell’s paralysis, post-stoke weakness, epilepsy, facial spasm, fibromyalgia, fasciitis, temporo-mandibular joint pain, neck pain, frozen shoulder, tennis elbow, knee pain, low back pain, sciatica pain, osteoarthritis, drug addiction, alcohol dependency, tobacco dependency 

2. Gastrointestinal conditions: Constipation, nausea and vomiting, irritable bowel syndrome, hiccups, obesity, ulcerative colitis, crohn’s disease, gastritis, chronic duodenal ulcers 

3. Endocrine and OB/GYN conditions: Painful menstruation, irregular menstruation, amenorrhea, premenstrual syndrome, induction of labour, morning sickness, polycystic ovary syndrome, female infertility, prostatitis, erectile dysfunction, short stature in children 

4. Respiratory conditions: Asthma, allergy, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) 

5. Eye conditions: Dry eyes, macular degeneration 

6. Skin conditions: Rashes, eczema, contact dermatitis, acne, psoriasis    

Q: How does acupuncture work?

A: Acupuncture induced lesions release chemicals from tissue such as blood coagulation factor XII which activates other factors to attract immune cells to needle site. Lesions stimulate mast cells and produce bradykinin and histamine which increases vasodilatation and increased vascular permeability Enhanced vasodilatation improves blood flow and enables immune cells to move from the blood to the lesion site. Acupuncture needling stimulates electrical impulses which travel from dendrites to cell body and axon. Lesions following acupuncture stimulate spinal cord and brain to secrete neurobiochemicals such as endorphins, which relax smooth, cardiac and skeletal muscles.