Acupuncturist Questions Acupuncture

What does acupuncture actually do?

I'm 27 years and I have migraines, but I heard that acupuncture can help. What does acupuncture actually do?

20 Answers

Trigger your own immune system.
It corrects imbalances and brings the body into homeostasis.
Hello! Have you been to your primary care for blood labs and an exam? If you have and nothing is amiss, then you may want to visit a chiropractor to check and see if your spine is out of alignment. This can often lead to headaches. Food allergies, such as celiac disease, can often be the culprit. The best way to test that out right away is to start to take away known allergen- containing foods such as wheat, and only wheat, to see if that relieves headaches. If it doesn't, then work on eliminating another food, such as processed sugar. If you find that foods are not the issue, then you may want to see your gynecologist (I'm assuming you are a woman!!!) to check your hormone levels. Hormones are famous for causing migraines. You may need to get on the pill (Again, assuming you are a woman!!!) which has been shown to stop or decrease headaches. You may be allergic to certain scents in your home or work. Make sure you have working Carbon Monoxide detectors at home and work. There may be some non toxic but nonetheless bothersome cleaning chemical that could be causing the headaches.

Acupuncture works to regulate qi (energy) and blood flow that is either deficient (lacking something) or excess (stagnation). Your practitioner will take a detailed health history and check your tongue and pulse. The tongue may show a multitude of things such as dampness or discoloration, scalloped edges, red points and so on. Your acupuncturist can explain what these things signify. Your pulse will show different "qualities" will will also help diagnostically. Once a diagnosis has been made, a point prescription will be designed specifically for your condition based on health history and tongue and pulse diagnosis. Needling (as well as other modalities) work to correct any imbalances and restore the acupuncture meridians to their proper flow.

In addition, I would recommend trying a cervical pillow when sleeping. This can help put the neck in its natural position whereas a pillow that is too soft could make the neck scrunch up and impede blood flow. Lastly, I would suggest doing neck rolls multiple times per day and stretch the trapezius muscles in your neck/shoulders to increase blood flow and work out any kinks you may have. Good luck!!!
Many people ask, "How does acupuncture work?" Or "What does it do?" The exact mechanism of acupuncture is still being researched. What is known is that acupuncture creates a wide variety of metabolic changes in the body that have a homeostatic (balancing) effect. Changes in blood flow, hormones, release of neurotransmitters, muscle relaxation, etc., can all be scientifically measured, but the "exact" reason behind it is still debated. MRI's of acupuncture patients reveal specific acupuncture points activate certain parts of the brain. But, again, how acupuncture does this still requires research. That acupuncture has a 5000 year old track record of helping people throughout the world speaks for itself and doesn't require "scientific" validation. That being said, I frequently treat migraine with excellent results in my practice. I suggest that you consult an acupuncturist to learn whether you are a good candidate for acupuncture. The only way to truly know if it will help you is to try it and see for yourself.
Thanks for asking a very good question. Yes, tiny acupuncture needles are place on specific areas to stimulate the internal energy called Chi to release hormones endorphin and serotonin, two very important hormones to ease the pain and eliminated in very short time. Also the good news is you eliminate taking the pain killers. Your body needs to be in tune. Once imbalance happens, then sickness strikes. Balancing the chi, you balance your internal energy.
I believe the treatment from acupuncture can help increase your body's serotonin and endorphins.

Yan Jin
Acupuncture works on balancing the energy channels running through your body, called Meridians. Sometimes the channels got blocked or interfered, maybe from emotions or physical injuries; oftentimes if there is blockage there is pain. And it's the acupuncturists or OMD's job to find the blockages and the trigger points associated with them, then insert acupuncture needles to open up the blockages and regain the balance and hominy for your body. Migraine/pain is just one of the benefits you could receive from acupuncture.
Acupuncture for preventing migraine attacks. The available evidence suggests that a course of acupuncture consisting of at least six treatment sessions can be a valuable option for people with migraine.
By acting on neurotransmitters acupuncture can help your body to release endorphins that will stop pain.
In Oriental Medicine, there is a saying "If there is pain, there is no free flow. If there is free flow, there is no pain." Acupuncture promotes and reestablishes the free flow of blood.
Acupuncture regulates hormonal imbalances, relieves muscle tension and improves the function of organs. It is in this way that acupuncture can be very effective for migraines.
Acupuncture helps the body regulate itself. The practitioner finds how the body is not communicating with other body systems, how the vital substances of the body are lacking, how emotions are preventing proper function or how external substances, like weather, can be affecting the health.

It is an entire system of health developed from the Chinese's observation of nature and natural laws, how the body is coordinated between all of the systems (respiratory, digestive, circulatory, etc) and how it relates to the environment around us. The practitioners diagnose by signs and symptoms and come up with a plan to reset the body to function more properly.

Find a practitioner in your area, so they can discuss your particular case, I cannot speak on your case because I have not diagnosed you.
Acupuncture does a lot. Long story short, our goal is to regulate your entire body so it can work to heal itself.

We believe the body to be a self healing mechanism. The reason why you're suffering from migraines is because something is blocking the flow of energy and your body is unable to move it on it's own (don't worry, this doesn't necessarily mean you have a blood clot or anything). Acupuncture works to support your body by resolving why the self healing mechanism is broken.
An acupuncturist will insert some needles into your skin to adjust your internal system.
When it comes to pain management, the best evidence we have is that acupuncture is basically doing four things:

1. Stimulating the release of endogenous opiate peptides. These are opiate-like molecules that the body creates and releases when pain arises.

2. Stimulates the brain to build more opiate receptors. This provides more binding sides for the endogenous opiates resulting in faster and longer lasting pain relief.

3. Regulates a set of neurotransmitters which are responsible for transmitting pain signals in the brain and spinal cord.

4. Changes the way the pre-frontal cortex of the brain processes pain information.
Everything in the universe has Yin and Yang. When Yin and Yang are unbalanced, problems arise. In order to resolve these problems, we have to balance what is in disarray. Acupuncture does just that.

Be well, be confident, we can help.
Helps stimulate blood flow, reduces inflammation, activates the body’s own natural pain receptors, deactivates the part of the brain which controls pain.
Acupuncture stimulate blood flow to all areas of the body for self-healing. It also works on the nervous system to signal the brain to released chemicals such as dopamine for the "good feeling effect" of acupuncture. In your case, migraines have many causes, so look to your local acupuncturist to come up with a diagnosis. It can be caused by genetics, lifestyle, trauma to the head, stress, and allergies from the environment or medications.
I'm sorry, it took me four years of a masters program to learn about how acupuncture works, so it's impossible for me to put it into a paragraph. If you're really interested, pick up the book, "The Web that has no Weaver" by Ted Kaptchuk. It is a great layman's explanation.

But if you're really just asking if it can help your migraines, my answer is yes. I treat migraines very successfully all the time. It usually takes a series of treatments to get them under control, and then patients usually come back periodically for "tune ups" to keep them from coming back. I heartily recommend it for your headaches.
Ok so a migraine headache in Traditional Chinese Medicine is considered to be stagnation. When you put needles into exact points strategically within the body’s key meridians, it unblocks the stagnation, creates the glow of the energy, oxygen, blood and body fluids to move smoothly and thus alleviate the headache pain.