Acupuncture encourage the flow of qi and blood, which are often considered "stagnant" in pain syndromes. Often applying a heated herb or infrared lamp during the acupuncture treatment can increase pain relief.
A 2014 study published in the Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine found that electroacupuncture—in which a mild electric current is transmitted through the needles—was just as effective as fluoxetine (the generic name of Prozac) in reducing symptoms of depression.
Acupuncture, when done in conjunction with anti-depressant medications helps the drug treatment work faster to improve mood.
A main reason for acupuncture’s successful treatment of arthritis results from the traditional way of viewing the body from it’s root imbalances. It restores the flow of qi and blood to increase joint mobility, while releasing any “pathogenic factors” (wind, cold, damp or heat) that cause pain and inflammation. Mechanisms of pain reduction include increasing the body’s natural pain-reducing chemicals (endorphins), blocking pain signals from the nervous system to the brain and generally relaxing body and mind. When appropriate, a practitioner will also apply heat through a far-infrared lamp or a Moxa stick (dried mugwort) to increase the success of the treatment.
A new study supports this belief as study results show that acupuncture can upregulate serum ferritin and decrease total iron binding capacity, which is high in patients with iron deficiency anemia.
Feeling fatigue is an indication that the body is cleansing and eliminating toxins and may last for a few days. Let yourself relax during the healing process while the wisdom of body brings you into a state of greater balance.
From the perspective of Chinese Medicine, spasms and cramps in the muscles are considered to result from stagnation of qi (energy) and blood. Acupuncture has been used throughout the ages for treating muscle spasms by needling acupoints that promote the free flow of qi and blood to release the stagnation.
In addition, studies have shown that acupuncture promotes the body’s release of natural anti-inflammatory steroids as well as pain relieving endorphins.
A PubMed (National Institute of Health Medical Library) article from 2015 examined 384 patients on blood thinners who collectively received nearly 3974 acupuncture treatments. One moderate bleeding event occurred in 3974 treatments (0.003%). The researchers concluded that acupuncture appears to be safe in anti-coagulated patients, assuming appropriate needling location and depth.
In simple terms, qi denotes energy. As an example, fatigue is considered to be a deficiency of qi. There are two basic type of qi - the energy a person gets from the parents (congenital qi) and the energy a person gets from food eaten and from the air taken in (acquired qi).
While there are other subdivisions of qi that guide the acupuncturist in defining the source of a person’s imbalance, it is likely that your acupuncturist was referring to qi in the broadest sense as energy.
Your question demonstrates why acupuncture is so effective for enhancing fertility, as each case is treated individually, according to the specific imbalance.
So, you can book an initial appointment anytime. Then your acupuncturist will determine the best time for your session after assessing your (or your husband’s!) pattern imbalance.
I have personally seen acupuncture to only have the effect of decreasing blood pressure and this is a well reported outcome. However, if your friend was anxious about needling, it might have been a sympathetic nervous response to the treatment, or an unknown mechanism operating within your friend, or something else entirely.
A recent study done in China with over 1000 people demonstrated that acupuncture with electrical stimulation is a valid treatment option for people suffering from chronic constipation.