Two or more fine needles are inserted through the skin and left in position briefly, sometimes with manual or electrical stimulation. This modifies the way pain signals are received by stimulating the nerves in skin and muscle, increasing the body’s release of natural painkillers – endorphin and serotonin – in the pain pathways of both the spinal cord and the brain.
The ancient Chinese believed that there is a universal life energy called Chi or Qi present in every living creature. This energy is said to circulate throughout the body along specific pathways that are called meridians. As long as this energy flows freely throughout the meridians, health is maintained, but once the flow of energy is blocked, the system is disrupted and pain and illness occur. Imagine rivers that flood and cause disasters or an electrical grid short-circuiting that causes blackouts. Acupuncture works to “re-program” and restore normal functions by stimulating certain points on the meridians in order to free up the Chi energy.