Acupuncture is a branch of Traditional Chinese Medicine that involves the insertion of very thin needles on acupoints. Acupuncture is used to treat various conditions, and it is even used to promote wellness. According to TCM, this technique is used to balance the flow of energy called qi, which flows through meridians. Acupuncture is gaining popularity all over the world, especially in the UAE, where people are looking for alternative treatments with fewer side-effects.
The Acupuncture Experience
During an acupuncture session, the specialist inserts very thin needles on your skin, known as acupuncture points. This procedure is not painful, and you will only experience slight discomfort. Before treatment, the practitioner asks you questions to identify the cause of your illness and how to perform the procedure. Diagnosis usually takes at least 30 minutes.
Acupoints are located all over your body, and the specialist will decide where to place the needles. The practitioner uses 5 to 20 needles. The next step involves needle manipulation. The acupuncturist might twirl or move the needles gently, apply heat, or mild electrical pulses. The last step is the removal of needles after 10-20 minutes.
How Acupuncture Changes Your Brain
Acupuncture is used to treat various conditions successfully, but do you know how it changes your brain? Here are several facts about how acupuncture works for the brain;
- Boost the Production of Neuropeptides
Acupuncture is one of the most popular treatments in Traditional Chinese Medicine because it helps the body in many ways. This technique helps your brain to release neuropeptides molecules that allow effector cells and neurons to communicate into the central nervous system. This helps in pain relief and activates your body’s healing process. Different neuropeptides affect the brain in various ways, like learning and memory.
- Improves Blood Flow
According to Traditional Chinese Medicine, the body is viewed as a whole. Acupuncture affects the whole boldly by contracting the blood vessels and releasing vasodilators; this relaxes your blood vessels, which in turn reduces high blood pressure and cerebral blood pressure.
Cerebral blood pressure refers to blood flow in the brain. Intracranial pressure and blood pressure affect cerebral blood pressure. Low blood pressure or high intracranial pressure affects blood flow to the brain.
- Helps the Brain to Produce Natural Painkillers
Did you know that your brain produces natural painkillers called endorphins that help to deal with pain? Acupuncture stimulates your brain to produce more of these chemicals. This is why acupuncture is widely used to manage pain, like lower back pain, headaches and migraines, and arthritis.
Acupuncture plays a significant role in regulating brain activities. Endorphins interact with the opiate receptors in your brain to minimize the reception of pain. There are at least 20 identified endorphins found in the pituitary gland, other parts of the brain, and throughout the nervous system.
- Helps with Anxiety
Acupuncture has positive effects on various autonomic nerve-related disorders, such as nervousness and anxiety, polycystic ovary disorder, and circadian rhythm disorders. Although it is normal to feel anxious sometimes, when you experience it regularly, it becomes a medical disorder. This disorder can lead to nervousness and excessive fear.
Anxiety alters your behavior and how you process emotions. Physical symptoms include restlessness, increased irritability, uncontrollable fear, concentration difficulties, and insomnia. Anxiety disrupts your life, but acupuncture helps you to deal with these disorders.
- Helps to Deal with Stress
Constant stress is not good for your health. The everyday hustle and bustle can have you stressed. Your nervous system is categorized as the sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous system. The sympathetic nervous system is what brings the the ‘fight or flight’ response. When your it is on, your blood pressure and stress hormone rise. Acupuncture encourages the parasympathetic nervous system to take over. This slows your heart rate and blood pressure, which reduces stress.
- Improves Mood
Acupuncture does not only help your brain to manage pain, but it also improves your mental wellness. Acupuncture affects tour brain’s neurotransmitters noradrenaline and serotonin which affects mood. This is why acupuncture is used to treat depression all over the world. Depression is a mood disorder that makes you feel the persistent loss of interest and sadness. Depression has several symptoms like loss of appetite, fatigue, less or too much sleep, feeling guilty or worthless, and restlessness.
- Blocks Pain
Did you know that acupuncture can help to prevent pain from being felt in the spinal cord and brain? When the nervous system is faced with too many nerve impulses, it becomes overwhelmed and shuts down the smallest pain centers which transmit pain messages. These pathways close during acupuncture, which means that you don’t feel pain in the brain or spinal cord.
Acupuncture is the most used technique of Traditional Chinese Medicine because of its many benefits. This treatment is not only non-invasive, but it also changes how our brains function. You are able to deal with pain, stress, and mood disorders with acupuncture.