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Acupuncture and Inflammation

Inflammation is commonly a response to some form of injury or trauma. The idea behind inflammation is to flood the injury site with white blood cells, natural killer cells, etc to help clear the site from foreign debris or pathogens, in order to promote healing.

But with all these extra cells in a location where they are not normally collected or bunched up leads to some localised congestion which manifest in the form of swelling. The extra fluid puts pressure on the surrounding nerves and gives us a pain signal when extra pressure is applied. This is a normal reaction which is necessary to let us know that an injury has occurred and to take it easy.

But in modern times with fast-paced lifestyles and less downtime, this inflammation and pain response is inconvenient.

So how can acupuncture help?

The goal of acupuncture is to speed up the healing response process and may assist in reducing the inflammation and swelling faster than leaving it to settle naturally.

Just like a papercut which will induce the healing response of the body, I like to think of the acupuncture inciting the same process. The needles stimulate the body’s healing response through painless micro trauma of the injury to help speed up the healing process.

With the reduction of localised swelling, there is less pressure which may result in a reduction of pain. Of course, there is also the added benefit of a faster recovery.

Pain & inflammation due to autoimmune diseases, like arthritis manifest in similar ways to injury or trauma but the mechanism for why it develops is very different. The goal of acupuncture would be similarly to reduce inflammation to reduce pain but additionally may try to reduce the immune systems likelihood of producing a pro-inflammatory state, i.e. calming the immune system down so it is not quick to flare up into a inflammatory state.

Kieren is based from our Kings Cross and Burwood clinics. To book an appointment with Kieren call in clinic on (02) 8354 1534 or book online!

Author: Kieren Ko

Kieren is an Acupuncturist at Health Space Kings Cross with a Bachelor of Health Science in Traditional Chinese Medicine (UTS).

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