Acupuncture aims to restore and maintain health by stimulation of specific points on human body. These points are called the acupuncture points and there are hundreds of acupuncture points in human body. These points are located along the body's 14 major meridians, or energy-carrying channels.
The acupuncture points influence the flow of energy, or Qi, in the body and correct the imbalance to restore health. The term Qi (pronounced chee) denotes the energy that flows along the meridians, or energy-carrying channels. According to experts on acupuncture an illness is caused by a disruption of Qi, or the flow of energy in the body.
This leads to an imbalance of energy. Acupuncture by stimulation of the energy that flows along the meridians, or energy-carrying channels can correct this energy disruption. This stimulates the body's ability to heal or resist illnesses. Acupuncture also stimulates the body to secrete chemicals that decrease or eliminate painful sensations.
There are several theories on the way acupuncture actually works. Some experts say that stimulation of acupuncture points causes a dull ache or other sensations in the muscle. The stimulated muscle and sensory neurons transmit messages to the central nervous system (the brain and spinal cord).
This stimulates the brain and the spinal cord to release endorphins (naturally produced pain killers) and other neurotransmitters (body chemicals that modify nerve impulses). These chemicals block the pain signals from being delivered to the brain. In addition they have other regulatory effects as well.
While other experts think that stimulation of acupuncture points transmits signals via the fascia. Fascia is like a thin sheath which is present around all the muscles in the body.
According to this theory the meridians represent myofascial chains. Hence on stimulating an acupuncture point in the lower leg pain in the back or other areas can be affected. Some researchers have shown that that acupuncture points actually have a lower electrical resistivity than surrounding areas. So the meridian system for the acupuncturists is like a navigable energetic map of the body ----which helps them to locate and treat different conditions.
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