a woman receiving acupuncture, acupuncture helps women, acupuncture work

Scientists have long wondered: how does acupuncture work? Now an international research team with more than 40 members has evidence that a neurological mechanism may be key.

What Did the Scientists Do?

In the earliest studies, the test subjects were horses. Then the investigators turned to rodents and people to clarify the effects of electroacupuncture. The stimulus reaches the brain, which in turn releases stem cells that can repair damage.

Electroacupuncture stimulation at certain specific points triggered parts of the brain that are involved with the immune system as well as the nervous system. The electroacupuncture treatment also raised the subjects’ pain threshold and increased their production of tendon-repairing collagen.

Electroacupuncture Research Shows How

Does All Acupuncture Work:

The investigators anticipate that understanding the effects of electroacupuncture in this way will facilitate the use of acupuncture in both human and veterinary medicine.
Salazar et al, Stem Cells, online, March 16, 2017

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  1. Kathy

    Acupuncture has benefited me greatly over the past 20 years. I was diagnosed with fibromyalgia around 25 years ago. I found acupuncture and a good acupuncturist and it works for me. Keeps me going. I moved and had to locate a new one and that was a bit
    difficult, but did find a gal who is great. I can go in with pain, come out feeling somewhat
    better. Last time, I was somewhat better and the next day I felt great. When I am in “the
    zone” as I call it, I am pain free for that 20-25 minutes. It refreshed and invigorates me.
    I highly recommend. In addition, I practice yoga once a week. They go hand in hand.
    Much better than drugs and no side effects.

  2. Mary Lou

    I am a huge proponent of acupuncture. I wish you would report on it more. It is a godsend!

  3. Carol

    I am a skeptic, and I research everything before I accept it. I tried Acupuncture 15 years ago, and I still use it. Initially, I tried it for carpal tunnel on both hands. By the third session, no more pain. I’ve used it for bursitis (hip), neck pain, migraines, frozen shoulder. It works for me. I don’t use over-the-counter drugs or prescription pain pills. Don’t knock it if you haven’t tried it.


    Would love to have more information on this topic or other studies of acupuncture.

  5. CL

    I wonder if these effects only occur with electro acupuncture or if regular acupuncture also has this effect.

  6. Lynn

    I do not know how acupuncture works but it does. My suggestion for the best likelihood of it working is to go to a licensed acupuncturist. Like all professions, some people are more skilled than others. If your problem is one that can be helped by acupuncture, and you did not get relief, then try another one. It’s unfortunate that health insurance does not cover this (usually), unlike chiropractic treatment. I have found acupuncture has been one of the best things I have done for my chronic issues.

  7. J

    Have 3 herniated and two (?) bulging discs in my upper back, and thus far acupuncture is the only relief I have found. It seems that the aggressive initial treatment (weekly) set me up for some self-healing. I then went to every two weeks and then once a month. I now go as needed and with the help of Bayer back and body can control any discomfort. I was in a high level of pain after the auto accident and now feel the issues with my upper back only after over-exerting (extreme gardening nut). I praise my doctor for his alternative eastern medicine.

  8. Sheila
    North Carolina

    Very interesting article and research!

    In July, I started trying acupuncture to reduce migraines. I had very low expectations before trying the treatments and was basically just trying to rule out acupuncture. Much to my surprise, I started getting relief within just a couple of weeks.

    I have gone from having up to 15 migraines a month to up to six. The migraines that I get now are much less severe and can be knocked out with an OTC or, if I’m lucky, just lying down with an ice pack on my head and doing deep breathing.

    I’m so happy that I have more migraine-free days and that I no longer have to take the prescription medication that made me nauseous.

    From my experience, I would advise that people who are considering acupuncture research reviews about their acupuncturist before booking. I say this because the first acupuncturist I went to provided no relief. He seemed more interested in selling me a package of treatments. The one I’m going to now and found after researching reviews, does not sell packages and his rates are less expensive.

  9. Virginia
    Greensboro NC

    Those of us with Ulcerative Colitis & other gastro issues are always seeking relief from the pain of these disorders. The 1 thing that has ever helped was paregoric, which hasn’t been available for years & most pharmacists haven’t even heard of it (they’re too young – LOL). Any suggestions or comments?

  10. Kathy
    Dallas, TX

    Acupuncture works! Helped reduce my back pain.

  11. Linda

    I was the first recorded woman in the Western world to have acupuncture with childbirth in 1973 when I was a writer for the Chicago Tribune where I reported my experience. A medical doctor of Chinese background administered the acupuncture, which consisted of a needle above an ankle and a wrist, and electrodes across the abdomen. When a contraction started, the doctor would engage the electrodes, which provided electrical stimuli to the abdomen. I had an unusually easy delivery. With one push my daughter was born. I asked my gyn/ob if he thought the acupuncture worked. He said he couldn’t make that determination and that I looked like a good Lamaze patient.
    The point of this story is that the secrets of medicine are many and there for us to discover by watching how our bodies react and sharing our wisdom with others. Thank you for helping us share.

  12. Karen
    North Carolina

    I have had acupuncture treatments for over 5 years now. I have asthma and osteoarthritis. In the last five years, I’ve had to use an inhaler only twice and I’m able to walk without assistance. I never miss my acupuncture appointment as this is the treatment that works well for me.

  13. Judi
    port st. lucie, fl 34986

    I tried it for weightloss, but had no results. I tried 4 sessions. The practitioner on two occasions put needles in my toes and it hurt. I’ve always heard that it’s painless.

    My husband also paid for a full set of sessions to help him quit smoking and he also had no benefits. But, we tried.

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