Acupuncture for Musculoskeletal Pain
Randomized, controlled clinical studies have found that acupuncture is beneficial for neck pain, shoulder pain, tennis elbow, carpel tunnel syndrome, low back pain, sciatica, osteoarthritis of the knee and heel pain, etc. A number of mechanisms have been identified to play a role in the relief of musculoskeletal pain by acupuncture, they include: Defused noxious inhibitory control(DNIC)
DNIC is an endogenous pain modulatory mechanism that involves "pain inhibits pain". Following acupuncture, the DNIC mechanism in the brain known may be activated, which provides immediate relief of pain. Our experience finds that the choice of acupuncture point and sensation produced by acupuncture (which is called Deqi) are two important factors in successful activation of DNIC. Opioid Release
Opioid released from the brain following acupuncture also has a powerful analgesic effect. Low frequency electroacupuncture is found to be best in inducing opioid effects, and we have found that the analgesic effect can be further augmented by selecting certain acupuncture points. Anti-inflammation
Many musculoskeletal pain conditions involve inflammation. Acupuncture can produce anti-inflammatory effects at the site of needling by inducing the release of adenosine, which is a powerful anti-inflammatory agent. When adenosine is applied directly to foot wounds of diabetes mellitus animals, it can drastically increase tissue repair and reconstruction. On the other hand, auricular acupuncture can produce anti-inflammatory effects via activation of the cholinergic anti-inflammatory pathway. We believe that careful selection of the correct acupuncture modalities holds the promise of best treatment results for musculoskeletal conditions. Acupuncture for Psychosomatic Illness
Insomnia, anxiety, depression, migraine, irritable bowel syndrome, menopausal syndrome and chronic fatigue syndrome may be classified as psychosomatic illness, as they involve both the mind and body. Recent clinical evaluations have shown benefits of acupuncture for many of these conditions. They physiological mechanisms underlying the acupuncture treatment, however, are not well understood, as animal models for studying these conditions are rather limited. Modulation of neurotransmitters and hormones has been found during acupuncture treatments. We believe that a holistic approach in Chinese medicine holds the key to our success in treating these conditions.