How Acupuncture Works

In these FAQs we answer some frequently asked questions about Acupuncture, identify conditions it treats and discuss some of the NYS Acupuncture Laws.

What is Acupuncture?

Acupuncture is one of five branches of Traditional Medicine. The other branches include nutritional guidance, Tui na (a form of Chinese Medical Massage), exercise (Qi Gong and Tai Ji), herbal therapy.

In NYS Acupuncture is defined in the Education Law as: the treating, by means of mechanical, thermal or electrical stimulation effected by the insertion of needles or by the application of heat, pressure or electrical stimulation at a point or combination of points on the surface of the body predetermined on the basis of the theory of the physiological interrelationship of body organs with an associated point or combination of points for diseases, disorders and dysfunctions of the body for the purpose of achieving a therapeutic or prophylactic effect. NYS Education Law,§ 160.

From the Traditional Medical perspective, acupuncture is the manipulation of the body’s energy through the insertion of fine needles at specified points on the body with the goal of helping the body to heal and strengthen. This energy is referred to as Qi (pronounced Chee). When illness occurs it is an external manifestation of weak or disordered Qi.

Acupuncture helps to re-order and strengthen the Qi and thereby eliminate the underlying condition and the symptoms. Acupuncture is part of an ancient medical system that has been practiced for thousands of years. performed by inserting fine needles into specified points on the body. These points have different effects on the Qi and needling a particular point will effect a particular result. Generally, a number of points are selected based on the particular condition and the individual’s general constitution.

How Does Acupuncture Work?
What Does Acupuncture Treat?
What Training and Credentials Do Acupuncturists Have?
How Do I Select An Acupuncturist?

To make an appointment or simply gather more information about acupuncture or choosing an acupuncturist, please contact Elizabeth at +1 917-968-2854. Or, contact us through this website. Elizabeth Healy is a NYS Licensed Acupuncturist, holds a Masters Degree in Traditional Oriental Medicine and a Doctorate in Acupuncture and Chinese Medicine. She is certified in Acupuncture and Herbology by the NCCAOM.

Another Step in Unlocking the Process of Understanding How Acupuncture Works!

University Of Rochester Study Establishes That Adenosine Plays a Role in How Acupuncture Works

A recently published study appearing in Nature adds new information to our understanding of the scientific underpinnings of how acupuncture works and its’ effectiveness in pain management. A research team at the University of Rochester Medical Center uncovered additional mechanisms which help to explain the effectiveness of acupuncture in treating various pain syndromes.N Goldman, M Chen, T Fujita, Q Xu, W Peng, T Jensen, Y Pei, F Wang, X Han, JF Chen, J Schnermann, T Takano, L Bekar, K Nedergaard, M Nedergaard. Adenosine A1 receptors mediate local anti-nociceptive effects of acupuncture, Nature Neuroscience, May 2010, published online doi:10.1038/nn.2562.

Study Results Show Role of Adenosine

The results showed that adult mice exhibited reduced pain response when adenosine levels increased and adenosine A1 receptors were activated. This was established by measuring local adenosine levels both prior to and during acupuncture. This measurement determined that adenosine levels increased during acupuncture treatments.

Researchers then performed acupuncture on mice lacking A1 receptors to determine if A1 receptor expression was necessary for acupuncture to be effective. Results showed that acupuncture was not effective in mice lacking A1 receptors. As such, researchers concluded that adenosine and A1 receptor expression are essential components in the process by which acupuncture effects pain perception.

The researchers hypothesized that inhibition of the degradation of adenosine might enhance the anti-nociceptive effects of acupuncture.

While adenosine is by no means the only neuro-chemical involved in the process by which acupuncture has an effect, this research shows that it plays a critical role in the process by which acupuncture effects pain sensation.

For further information regarding acupuncture or to make an appointment, please call Elizabeth at 917.968.2854.