Acupuncture Works!

Acupuncture works in a series of treatments, similar to physical therapy, radiation therapy or exercise, & the effects are cumulative – very often long-lasting or permanent. The way Acupuncture works is by triggering the release of the supercharged energy molecule, ATP= adenosine triphosphate, which is made in each of our cells and is present and necessary for ALL of our bodys’ processes and functions to occur.

ATP breaks down to adenosine & 2 phosphates, & can convert back again to ATP, depending on what the body needs at the time.  Acupuncture is most well known for treating pain. Adenosine is released during acupuncture & has anti-inflammatory effects & mediates all types of pain: acute, chronic, & neuropathic.

The reason Acupuncture is effective to treat so MANY different conditions, is because ATP & adenosine are present in ALL cells, in ALL body tissues, in ALL body systems, & used for ALL body functions!

In a sense, an acupuncture treatment ‘reminds’ the body how to function when it is healthy ~ moving easily & without pain, all of the systems working smoothly and efficiently, emotions are calm, steady, and happy, with quality sleep! Acupuncture establishes homeostasis, or balance, by reminding the body how everything is ‘supposed to work’ together; how the systems (endocrine, reproductive, immune, cardiovascular, digestive, metabolism…) function when they are healthy- without disease and illness, & pain free!

ATP, the supercharged energy molecule in each of our cells, is the modern day equivalent of Qi, the energy described in Acupuncture & Chinese medicine.

From the 3000 year old Chinese medicine perspective, acupuncture works by promoting the movement of Qi, or energy, throughout the body, which directly impacts the body’s ability to function properly and nourishes our cells, tissues, organs. The concept of ‘qi’ originates from what the Chinese call ” life force” or animating energy”, it is found in nature and all living beings and is responsible for creating harmony and balance in health. If qi is blocked and does not flow freely, pain and illness will result…

In other words, ATP needs to be made available or accessible for our body to use, in order to function properly. Acupuncture stimulates the smooth flow of qi, by triggering the release of ATP for us to use, as needed.  This method is also referred to as “Purinergic Signalling”, due to the components of ATP, (adenenosine and 2 phosphates), being purines.

These findings are credited to the work of neurobiologist & nobel prize winner, Geoffrey Burnstock, president of the Autonomic Neuroscience Center @ UCL Medical School, who coined the term “Purinergic Signalling”, discovered in the 1970’s.

By Sarah Newman, Acupuncture Physician, MAOM

Acupuncture Physician, Health Consultant &Traditional Chinese Medicine Practitioner; NCCAOM Board Certified