What is acupuncture?
Acupuncture is the practice of inserting filiform needles into the body to create a therapeutic effect. Although based on an ancient system of medicine that started in Asia over 3000 years ago, acupuncture is used today to safely and effectively treat a variety of health conditions.
So how does acupuncture work?
There are numerous condition specific studies that have been published, mostly validating that acupuncture is more effective than control treatments. To try to explain and visualize how acupuncture works, researchers have used functional magnetic resonance imaging or fMRIs to see what happens to the brain and body when acupuncture treatments are administered. Most results concur that blood circulation is increased, and activity is modulated within specific brain areas, including somatosensory cortices, limbic system, basal ganglia, brain stem, and cerebellum.
What can acupuncture treat?
The following chart illustrates the systemic reviews of acupuncture clinical studies and clinical trials. It shows which conditions have been shown to be effective when treated with acupuncture.