Acupuncture is one of the oldest and most long-standing medical treatment in the world. Acupuncture has three effects: relieves pain, reduces inflammation, and restores homeostasis which refers to the body's ability to regulate its environment and maintain internal balance. All diseases involves a disturbance of homeostasis, and nearly all diseases involves some degree of pain and inflammation. The mechanisms of acupuncture can be quite complex. However, acupuncture is ultimately a simple technique that depends entirely upon one thing: the stimulation of the peripheral nervous systems. 

Acupuncture promotes blood flow. 
Everything the body needs to heal is in the blood, which includes oxygen, nutrients we absorb from food, immune substances, hormones, analgesics (painkillers), and anti-inflammatories. Restoring proper blood flow is vital to promoting and maintaining health. Blood flow decreases as we age and can be impacted by trauma, injuries and certain diseases. 

Acupuncture stimulates the body's built-in healing mechanisms.
Acupuncture creates "micro traumas" that stimulate the body's ability to spontaneously heal injuries to the tissues through nervous, immune and endocrine system activation. As the body heals the micro traumas induced by acupuncture, it also heals any surrounding tissue damage from old injuries. 

Acupuncture releases natural painkillers.
Inserting a needle sends a signal through the nervous system to the brain, where chemicals such as endorphins, norepinephrine, and enkephalin are released. Some of these substances are 10-200 times more potent than morphine!

Acupuncture relaxes shortened muscles.
This in turn releases pressure on joint structures and nerves, and promotes blood flow.

Acupuncture reduces stress.
Acupuncture stimulates the release of oxytocin, a hormone and signaling substance that regulates the parasympathetic nervous system. 

Photo by Prevention Magazine

Photo by Prevention Magazine