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How Acupuncture Works
A Western Perspective

The Nervous System : Acupuncture stimulates nerve fibers that send impulses to the brain for the body to release endorphins and monoamines, the body's natural pain relievers.  It also stimulates nerve fibers to release enkaphelin and dynorphin, which block incoming pain messages to the brain by stimulating descending neurons in the spinal cord.
The Immune System : The body's Autonomic Nervous System influences system organs, such as the thymus, lymph nodes and spleen.  It also influences blood flow, heart rate, organ and immune system functions.  Studies done in animals have demonstrated that acupuncture can stimulate or depress an immune response through the Autonomic Nervous System.  This includes regulating the number of white blood cells produced as well as how they behave in an immune response. 
The Endocrine System : Acupuncture can influence the way the endocrine system functions.  Studies have demonstrated acupuncture's effect on the central nervous system.   When specific points are needled, acupuncture can stimulate the hypothalamus.  This is turn regulates individual glands such as the ovaries, testes, and pancreas to help improve endocrine disorders.
Blood Circulation : Acupuncture increases blood circulation, which in turn, increases the rate of oxygen delivered to the tissues and facilitates faster removal of waste products.  This improves overall tissue function. 

An Eastern Perspective

Acupuncture has close to 3000 years history.  Its focus is the insertion of hair-fine needles into specifically defined points on the body to bring balance and promote the body's natural healing mechanisms. It has been said that the effect of acupuncture on the body is similar to the effect of a stone thrown into a lake.  The needles create a gentle ripple effect in the body that helps to unblock Qi ("energy") and awaken the body's inherent healing potential.  Chinese Medicine is a healing system born out of philosophy developed by observing nature and the world around.  There are three main concepts in this philosophy: Qi, Yin/Yang and the Five Elements.  They form not only a structured, logical way to examine life but they also gave rise to the formation of one of the most complete healing systems known to mankind.  

The World Health Organization supports the use of Chinese Medicine and Acupuncture for the following conditions:

Digestive Issues :  Abdominal pain, constipation, IBS, diarrhea and acid reflex.
Emotional Issues :  Anxiety, depression, insomnia, nervousness and neurosis.
Eye-Ear-Nose-Throat Issues :  Cataracts, gingivitis, poor vision, tinnitus and toothaches.
Gynecological Issues :  PMS, menopausal symptoms and irregular menstruation.
Musculoskeletal Issues :  Arthritis, back pain, muscle cramping, muscle pain/weakness, neck pain and sciatica.
Neurological Issues :  Headaches, neurogenic bladder dysfunctio-n, postoperative pain and strokes.
Respiratory Issues :  Asthma, bronchitis, common cold, sinusitis, smoking, smoking cessation and tonsillitis.
Other Issues : Addiction control, athletic performance, blood pressure regulation, chronic fatigues, immune system tonification and stress reduction.