The World Health Organization (WHO) recommends acupuncture as a possible treatment for inflammation. Several clinical practice guidelines suggest acupuncture for the treatment of several inflammatory diseases, including allergic rhinitis and RA. In recent decades, Western medicine has increasingly adopted acupuncture as a possible treatment for inflammation. Acupuncture has been used to treat a variety of inflammatory conditions for many centuries.
Scientific research now confirms and explains the ways in which acupuncture reduces inflammation in the body. Acupuncture involves inserting tiny, fine needles into specific acupuncture points on the body to elicit a response and restore body balance and improve health. These findings, described in the journal Neuron in August, are promising for improving the safety and effectiveness of acupuncture and, over time, could help treat patients with inflammatory diseases. The scientific evidence on the effect of acupuncture on inflammation is still in diapers; however, there are promising studies that suggest that acupuncture may help reduce inflammation.
According to the researchers, three factors: the time of treatment, the placement of the acupuncture needles and the intensity of the stimulation can produce markedly different results in modulating inflammation. In one experiment, they administered high-intensity electroacupuncture to the abdomen and hind legs of rodents at different stages of the infection. Some of the easiest ways to understand how acupuncture works include relieving muscle tension, improving circulation, and activating opioid receptors that help reduce pain. An area of special interest to the research team is the so-called cytokine storm, which consists of the rapid release of large quantities of cytokines that often cause serious systemic inflammation and can be caused by many factors, such as COVID-19, cancer treatment or sepsis.
If you're interested in expanding your service offering with acupuncture and dry needling, Breeze Academy offers courses across the UK. Ma is also interested in exploring other signaling pathways that acupuncture could stimulate to treat conditions that cause excessive inflammation. It's a puzzle he hopes to investigate further, through basic animal research and working with clinical partners to examine how acupuncture treatments could help humans to better “adjust” inflammation.