In Part I of this series on “How Acupuncture Works” we went over the 1st mechanism of acupuncture and what happens at the focal point of an acupuncture needle during insertion and electrical stimulation.
Now we will discuss the 2nd mechanism of acupuncture, known as the Spinal Segmental Effect. The mechanism relates to the stimulation of the spinal nerves that branch out from the spine and connect the spinal cord with specific regions of the body.
This vital link carries information to and from the brain allowing us to recognize & process sensory information and perform motor functions. Some examples of sensations and motor functions these nerves regulate are:
- Our ability to perceive pain.
- The feeling of needing to go to the bathroom.
- Our sense of touch, taste, smell, sight and hearing.
- Our ability to walk and control muscle movements.
- Heart contractions.
- Blood pressure and the vasoconstriction/vasodilation of blood vessels.
So, how does this relate to acupuncture? Well, by stimulating these spinal nerves with electroacupuncture our simple needles act as electrodes that can transmit electrical pulses to the spinal cord, brain, organs and tissues to help improve their overall function and health by:
- Increasing blood flow to targeted tissues to help speed up the healing process and improve their functionality.
- Down-regulating pain signals traveling to the spinal cord and the brain.
- Interrupting dysfunctional signaling going to and from the organs.
- Relaxing smooth muscle tissue walls of the intestines, lungs, heart and blood vessels to improve gut motility, blood pressure, breathing, and cardiac function.
We can thus say that Acupuncture works by stimulating the nervous system and using our body’s innate healing mechanisms to combat disease, pain, stress and nearly every other ailment.
In part 3 of this series we will go over how acupuncture reduces pain via the endogenous opioid circuit.
For more information about acupuncture and how it may benefit you. Call or text TCM Hoots Acupuncture & Bodywork at 347-833-2275. We proudly serve all of Manhattan, Queens and some parts of Brooklyn. Our acupuncture clinic is located in Astoria, Queens but we also provide mobile acupuncture in NYC.
To book an appointment, please call or text 347-833-2275, or schedule online.