Acupuncture can decrease pain by increasing the release of chemicals that block pain, called endorphins. Many acu-points are near nerves. When stimulated a message is sent to the central nervous system (the brain and spinal cord), causing the release of endorphins (morphine-like chemicals produced in our own bodies during times of pain or stress). Endorphins, along with other neurotransmitters (body chemicals that modify nerve impulses), block the message of pain from being delivered up to the brain.
Acupuncture can treat chronic pain through various methods. Distal point acupuncture can effectively reduce pain while allowing a patient to move the affected area of the body to determine if the treatment is taking effect. The use of local points and/or trigger points can release tight muscles, increase circulation, and reduce inflammation locally.
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