Acupuncture has been used as a treatment method for many ailments for more than a thousand years, yet it still remains a mystery as to the exact nature of how and why it works. New research is shedding light on several perspectives of its underlying mechanisms. One important theory will be discussed here.
One of the most fascinating theories to emerge explaining the underlying mechanisms of acupuncture is the phenomenon of fascia. Fascia is a layer of connective tissue located below the skin and all throughout the body. Fascia wraps around every body tissue such as bone, tendon, ligament, muscle and every organ group in the entire body. It acts much like a vacuum bag that separates all the tissue groups into functional compartments. Fascia is very strong and hence protects each body compartment from each other. It also nourishes each compartment since fascia contains blood vessels, fluids, nerves, oxygen, and so on, which makes it an excellent pathway for transportation and communication.
Fascia was proven to have piezoelectric conducivity, which accentuates its capacity to communicate between different systems of the body. Many parts of the body rely on this capacity of electrical conductivity in order to function. For example, the heart relies on electrical impulses to contract the pump, nerves in the body to transmit information, muscles use it to force contractions and the brain uses it to think.
So how does this explain how acupuncture works?
Research proposes that acupuncture's effects may be achieved through utilising fascia's ability to send signals all over the body. That is, the fascial connective tissue in the body acts mcuh like a communication network, like phone lines, only more sophisticated. For example, the insertion of an acupuncture needle into an acupuncture point (fascial area of the hand) can influence many other areas of the body or organs (stomach, lung, liver or intestines) where fascia is present. The acupuncture point is able to stimulate the fascia's electrical properties as well as nerves and blood vessels to promote healing. So the next time you receive acupuncture on the arm, leg or feet for digestive, respiratory or cardiovascular issues, you can comfortably know there is an underlying mechanism at work.
Interested to know more? Hong is an acupuncturist based in Health Space Oatley. You can call this number to find out more about acupuncture, or to make an appointment.