The traditional Chinese explanation is that needling stimulates a type of energy called Qi (pronounced “chee”) that travels through the body on 12 pathways. Qi is responsible for regulating every single physiological process in the body. Disease occurs when the Qi is not flowing properly. Along these pathways lay points on the body that each manipulate Qi in their own way. Points to be needled are selected based on the signs and symptoms a patient is experiencing and how their Qi must be manipulated in order to address theunderlying issue.
The Western scientific view is that acupuncture points are places with high concentrations of nerve endings and capillaries. These points have measurably decreased electrical resistance making them easier to stimulate with needles. Inserting acupuncture needles alerts nerve endings which signal the brain to release neurotransmitters such as endorphins, norepinephrine and enkephalins. These neurotransmitters block pain sensations and promote a state of relaxation, restoration and healing.
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