According to Traditional
Chinese Medicine

Acupuncture works by
applying a thin needle to an
acupuncture point located
along the meridian - a
channel like structure. Each
of 14 meridians controls a set
of physiological functions of
corresponding internal organs
throughout the body.
Acupuncture achieves its
effect by regulating "Qi"
movement in the meridian.
"Qi" is a conceptual energy
substance that travels in the
meridians to influence the
functions of internal organs.
Disruption of Qi movement
and abnormally high and low
of Qi are used to explain the
symptoms or diseases.
Similarly, by up-regulating or
down-regulating the functions
of internal organs through
"Qi", acupuncture achieves its
therapeutic aims and correct
the imbalance.
How Acupuncture Works
Reducing inflammation and pain

Insertion of needles leads to attraction of immune cells to the acupuncture points through
chemotactic process as part of wound healing mechanism. The immune cells then release
significant amount of anti-inflammatory proteins-leading to reduce the inflammation. As
many pain symptoms are the result of inflammation such as low back pain and joint arthritis,
the needle-induced anti-inflammatory activity reduce the pain.

Balancing nerve systems by acting on parasympathetic and
sympathetic nerves

Many symptoms that acupuncture can treat are the result of imbalance of sympathetic and
parasympathetic systems. Symptoms such as stress/anxiety, nausea/vomiting, abdominal
bloating are the result of hyperactive sympathetic or hypoactive parasympathetic nerves
(vagus nerve). Acupuncture on a number of acupuncture points stimulate vagus nerve to
rebalance the nerve systems.

Acting on peripheral nerves to influence central nerve system and treat
peripheral nerve abnormality

Applying needles to acupuncture points stimulates peripheral nerve activity, which in turns
to act on brain. In neural sciences, more than 60 studies using MRI imaging approach have
demonstrated different acupuncture points could activate different brain regions, implying
its contribution to treat pain, stress, migraine, insomnia, and parkinson's diseases. Also,
acupuncture can be used correct abnormality of peripheral nerves to treat diseases
including peripheral neuropathy and shingles.
 Acupuncture & Natural Medicine                             Dr. Peng in Bethesda, Maryland