Did you know you have access to the best pharmacy 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year. It’s located right between your ears…your brain!
One of the age old ways to access it, is a 2,000-year-old medicine, called acupuncture. But does it work?
A recent article from TIME Magazine reported a study conducted by Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center that compared acupuncture treatment to standard medical treatment (aka a doctor’s exam and drugs) for musculoskeletal pain, chronic headaches, and osteoarthritis. The comparison showed a statistically significant benefit to acupuncture. The researcher stated that, “If acupuncture were a drug, we’d say the drug works.”
Although acupuncture does rely partially on a placebo effect, the Center for Integrative Pain Neuroimaging at Harvard Medical School have conducted dozens of brain imaging studies on acupuncture to determine specifically how it works. They concluded that there are several possibilities depending on the type of condition that’s treated. They include:
- Acupuncture stimulates the immune system to promote healing;
- Acupuncture increases blood flow to help clear out accumulated cellular byproducts that trigger or worsen pain;
- Acupuncture stimulates the nervous system and brain to promote the release of the body’s own natural painkillers.
Acupuncture may not cure cancer or treat a heart attack, but it can be an alternative for pain medications and surgery. You lose very little by trying acupuncture first, and you may gain a life-changing appreciation for holistic medicine.