Focus on…… Acupuncture – How it works

Posted on 9th Feb 2022 at 10:23am

In this piece we provide a little more detail about the physiological triggers that helps acupuncture produce positive results.


Relieving pain

Acupuncture needles stimulate physiological mechanisms within the central nervous system and in the local peripheral tissues which cause the production of natural pain-relieving chemicals such as endorphins, melatonin and serotonin.


Studies which have looked at functional magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) provide us with some insight into the effect of acupuncture on the pain pathways of the brain. It is thought that acupuncture initiates a sequence of events which involves the release of opioid-like substances which originate from within the body, namely encephalin, beta-endorphin and endomorphin. These serve to modulate pain signals processed along the pathway.


The inflammatory effect

Acupuncture has been shown to cause a reduction in pro-inflammatory cells and an increase in anti-inflammatory cells which reduces pain, swelling and inflammation in local tissue (da Silva et al, 2014). Acupuncture can also accelerate the initial inflammatory response to encourage the secondary healing responses following injury (Dascanio et al, 2015).


The physiotherapists practising Acupuncture at our clinics are members of the Acupuncture Association of Chartered Physiotherapists (AACP) and are governed by their code of practice. All needles used are single use and pre-sterilised.


Physio and Health Matters are on hand to restore your health, call us to book an appointment or request further information