People always give me a puzzled look every time I tell them to try a Melbourne based Chinese acupuncturist to help them solve some of their health problems. The reactions are not at all surprising.
After all, we now live in a world where almost every other health concern has a pill, an injection, or a surgical procedure as an answer. Many of the people who do not believe in acupuncture do so because of the nature of this treatment. Does it really work?
First off, I would like to say that I am not an acupuncturist nor am I a member of the allied health professions. Let us say that I am another ordinary human being who has grown weary of contemporary treatments. I believe in the effectiveness of today’s medicines. Unfortunately, there are way too many side effects that may require another different kind of drug.
Acupuncture does not have any side effects other than the sensation you get as the acupuncturist starts inserting the needles. Fertility acupuncture is also very safe. At the very least, you won’t have to worry about any of the side effects that are quite common in many fertility drugs.
Traditional acupuncture adheres to the principles of Qi. Traditional acupuncturists believe that health conditions – such as infertility and pain – is due to a disruption in the flow of Qi in our body. The only way one can address the disease is by removing the obstruction to Qi flow.
Unfortunately, this is what most people have trouble understanding. It is quite difficult to grasp what Qi or life energy is. As such, we shall try to look at through a more modern perspective.
I have met a few doctors who already incorporate acupuncture in their practice. They may not utilise the same principles as traditional acupuncturists. However, they do say that it is similar to stimulating the dermatomes or meridians of the body.
Everything is tied to the human nervous and endocrine systems. Nerves coming from the spinal cord connect to the different organs in the body. They carry messages from the end organs to the spinal cord and into the brain.
The brain will process the different pieces of information and send them to specific regions of the brain. These regions will then send out a ‘response’ to the different organs via the spinal cord and the associated nerves.
One of the most important effects of stimulating these nerves is the production and release of neural hormones. A good example of this is beta-endorphins.
These substances can help mediate many of the experiences that we have. It can make us feel happy and improve our mood. They can also increase our threshold for pain. That is why acupuncture is a good treatment for managing certain types of pain.
In addition to its effects on the production of neural hormones, acupuncture can also stimulate the pituitary gland. This small gland produces other hormones that can help improve different body processes.
Two of the most important hormones here are the Luteinising Hormone and the Follicle Stimulating Hormone. The Luteinising Hormone is important in triggering ovulation in females.
It also helps maintain the health of the corpus luteum. The Follicle Stimulating Hormone, on the other hand, helps in the ripening of the follicles in the uterus. Together, they can contribute to improved fertility in women who are having problems conceiving.
Acupuncture does not only work on the different structures of the brain; it can also work against pro-inflammatory parkers. This is one of the reasons why many people who have arthritis find acupuncture to be liberating.
Acupuncture can reduce the levels of Interleukin-1β and Tumour Necrosis Factor pro-inflammatory substances in the body. This can reduce swelling and pain.
It is not clear when the medical community will begin accepting acupuncture as a good adjunct to conventional treatments. What I know is that it works to improve the release of neural hormones, while also affecting the action of certain pro-inflammatory substances.