Acupuncture Longevity Clinic
Pamela Miller, L.Ac.
Acupuncture • Chinese Herbal Formulas • Homeopathic Medicine
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Acupuncture works by sending a signal to the brain. When you get acupuncture a nerve impulse is generated and that impulse travels up the spine to the brain. The brain is stimulated and calculates what needs to be done. Changes to facilitate healing are activated improving circulation, immune and endocrine system responses.
Pain is not felt in the conscious mind until a nerve signal reaches reaches the “higher brain” – the cerebral cortex.
There are two types of nerves involved in feeling pain. Sensory nerves tell brain that there is pain somewhere in the body but another kind of nerve is needed to tell the brain where the pain is located. These nerves are called “proprioceptive nerves.” They fire continuously in the affected area and send a nerve signal up the spine.
A cascade of chemicals are stimulated into production within nanoseconds of acupuncture insertion. The secretions cancel pain impulses and create a state of relaxation in the body by blocking the impulse before it reaches the cerebral cortex.
When the nerve impulse reaches the mid brain (before it reaches the cerebral cortex) two hormones called Endorphins and enkephalins are produced. They create relaxation, increased peripheral blood flow and a feeling of well-being. Neurotransmitters are also produced.
Neurotransmitters bind to the specific pain receptor sites along the spine and the capillary beds and block transmission of pain impulses traveling to the brain. If the pain impulse does not reach the cerebral cortex you cannot feel pain. These neurotransmitters “blanket” the landing pads: there is no room for the nerve impulse to land. Think of this analogy – “you can’t have two men on first base.” This is how acupuncture work to alleviate pain.
In an attempt to alleviate pain the brain begins to shut down healing the injured area after two weeks by diminishing microcirculation to the injured area. In chronic pain, signals to midbrain becomes so weak that the midbrain does not release the pain relieving endorphins or enkephalins.
Acupuncture treats Chronic Pain by increasing vasodilation and microcirculation to injured areas. Patients with chronic pain have a very low proprioceptive nerve threshold. A proprioceptive nerve tells the brain exactly where the pain is located. Chronic pain patients hurt, but often cannot tell exactly where the pain is. The brain is not directing the proper nutrients and blood flow to the needed areas. Microcirculation of blood to in the injured area needs to be increased for healing. Lymphatic drainage to reduce inflammation is also inhibited.
The strong stimulation created by acupuncture “re-boots” the proprioceptive nerve pathway. This allows the brain to again locate the injured or infected area and increase microcirculation. Increased microcirculation of blood acts removes dead cells and brings nutrients to the cells.
The sensation created by the needles ‘jumps’ the neural signal threshold and stimulates the brain to release endorphins and enkephalins and alleviate pain.
More treatments are needed in cases of chronic pain. A special six-session PTSD protocol has been shown to be effective for veterans and others. Repeating acupuncture allows strong jumping of the neural signal threshold and should be continued until the body is able to REMEMBER and RE-ESTABLISH the normal threshold to signal the brain.
Acupuncture Longevity Clinic • 2750 E. Washington Blvd, Suite 140, Pasadena, CA 91107
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