Science of acupuncture

Acupuncture needle in foot

Acupuncture is a unique system of medicine, there is nothing quite like it. Today there is more science and clinical data validating the benefits of acupuncture and what acupuncturists have witnessed with their treatments over the centuries.

So, how does it work?

When an acupuncture needle is inserted into the skin, it creates a “microtrauma”. This means that the needle passes through skin, muscles, capillaries, and fascia creating enough stimulation to generate a response in that area; not enough to damage tissue. This gentle and mild stimulus facilitates change.

The insertion of the needle stimulates or “sparks” the peripheral blood vessels to dilate, enhancing optimal blood flow to and from the site of the needle. This is essential because ALL the cells in our body require nutrients delivered and waste products removed in an appropriate and timely manner. Consider our cells as stops along an assembly line; if the assembly line slows down, speeds up or stops, it would create backup of a product at some point while simultaneously creating no product somewhere else; If done over a period of time, the assembly line would not be efficient and would create waste and problems. This is similar to what happens with blood flow in unhealthy individuals. 

Acupuncture’s effect on regulating blood flow is what makes it so essential to healing, recovery, and regulating body temperature. As blood is delivered to each cell, it carries 5 nutrients that enhance the quality of life: oxygen, glucose(food), anti-inflammatories, analgesics(pain relievers) and hormones. When these substances are delivered efficiently to the cellular level, the body becomes much healthier.

Oxygen and Glucose

When glucose and oxygen reach the cells, they stimulate the cell’s production of Adenosine Triphosphate aka ATP.  ATP is stored energy of the particular cell that creates it. Whether the cell is from the spleen, kidneys, bone, muscle, skin, etc, ATP enhances the function of those particular cells.  This is why patients who receive regular acupuncture report improvement in energy levels as well as bodily systems, such as digestion, urination, respiration, cardiovascular and neurological systems.

Anti-inflammatories and Analgesics

Blood carries our body’s natural anti-inflammatories and pain relievers(10-300x more powerful than morphine) to areas of need.  So how then does the body feel pain?  One of the ways people will experience discomfort is when blood flow is not optimal to the site of pain. This can occur because of stress, trauma, improper diet, and other diseases. Because of acupuncture’s amazing effect of enhancing blood flow where directed, it is extremely beneficial for pain conditions.


Hormones are chemical substances that act as a communication network of our organs and tissues and they control how our cells work. With proper blood flow, hormones reach their target sites efficiently promoting healthy menstrual function, digestion, endocrine function, stress, emotional states, sleep, blood pressure, growth and development, and nearly every process in the body.

What makes blood so critical to maintaining health is its ability to deliver necessary nutrients throughout the body. But as we age, become diseased, stressed or experience trauma, blood flow becomes negatively impacted. This is when acupuncture and its unique ability to promote optimal blood flow can help to prevent further decline and promote healing and recovery.

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