How Acupuncture Works

How Acupuncture Works

1. Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) Theory:

This theory suggests that acupuncture works by balancing the flow of energy or qi (pronounced “chee”) along specific pathways in the body known as meridians.
It is believed that blockages or imbalances in the flow of qi can lead to illness or discomfort, and acupuncture aims to restore the balance by stimulating specific points along the meridians.

2. Neurotransmitter Theory:

Acupuncture has been shown to stimulate the release of various neurotransmitters such as endorphins, serotonin, and dopamine.
These neurotransmitters are known to modulate pain perception, mood, and overall sense of well- being.
By influencing these neurotransmitter levels, acupuncture may help alleviate pain and improve mood.

3. Gate Control Theory:

According to this theory, acupuncture stimulates sensory nerves, which then send signals to the brain that interfere with the transmission of pain signals. Essentially, the stimulation of certain acupuncture points may “close the gate” to pain signals, reducing pain perception.

4. Autonomic Nervous System Modulation:

Acupuncture has been shown to influence the autonomic nervous system, which regulates involuntary bodily functions such as heart rate, digestion, and respiratory rate.
By modulating the activity of the sympathetic and parasympathetic branches of the autonomic nervous system,
acupuncture may help regulate various bodily functions and promote relaxation.

5. Connective Tissue Stimulation:

Acupuncture needles may stimulate connective tissue, leading to local and systemic effects. Connective tissue contains a high density of sensory receptors and is involved in transmitting mechanical signals throughout the body.
Stimulation of connective tissue through acupuncture may trigger cascades of biochemical reactions that contribute to therapeutic effects.

6. Placebo Effect:

It’s also possible that the therapeutic effects of acupuncture are, at least in part, due to the placebo effect.
The ritualistic aspects of acupuncture treatment, including the insertion of needles, the environment, and the interaction with the acupuncturist, may lead to psychological and physiological changes that alleviate symptoms.

7. Endogenous Opioid System Activation:

Acupuncture has been shown to activate the body’s endogenous opioid system, which includes naturally occurring pain-relieving substances such as endorphins and enkephalins.
By stimulating opioid receptors in the brain and spinal cord, acupuncture may produce analgesic effects.

These theories are not necessarily mutually exclusive, and it’s likely that multiple mechanisms contribute to the therapeutic effects of acupuncture.
Ongoing research continues to explore and refine our understanding of how acupuncture works.

Windtown Lagoon Hotel, 9 Bree Street, Langebaan

Acupuncture at Windtown Lagoon Hotel

Lynda provides restorative and healing acupuncture treatments in the Spa at Windtown on a Friday morning

  • Treating pain, chronic, muscular, headaches, migraines, sciatica
  • Relaxing tight muscles
  • De-stressing, anxiety
  • Speeding up recovery from a cold, flu, or other acute illness
  • Improving restful sleep
  • Beating jetlag, restless leg syndrome, seasonal allergies, sinusitis
  • Digestive disorders, nausea and vomiting, constipation, reflux
  • Preventing further illness, immune boosting

Dr Lynda Thompson (BSc, BCompMed, MSc Chinese Medicine & Acupuncture)
Practice No: 0533947. AHPCSA Reg No: A11110

For appointments please WhatsApp Lynda on 079 042 1687


Can acupuncture and Chinese medicine help in the winter?

Chinese medicine during the winter season align with the concept that humans should live in harmony with the natural cycles of their environment.
The cold and darkness of winter urge us to slow down, reflect on our health, replenish our energy, and conserve our strength.

By conserving our energy and building our reserves during winter, we can have the necessary resources needed for the coming spring.
It’s a time to prioritize rest, warmth, and nourishment. This holistic approach in Chinese medicine emphasizes the importance of nurturing the spirit or “Shen.”
It encourages indulging in guilty pleasures that bring joy and comfort during the winter, such as enjoying a warm apple pie.

Acupuncture has been shown to boost the immune system, which can help prevent colds, flu, and other common winter illnesses.
It can elevate the body’s immune-enhancing hormones and blood counts, enabling the immune system to better fight off infections, reduce aches and pains, decrease inflammation, and increase energy levels.

Furthermore, acupuncture can be beneficial for managing winter joint pain. The treatment increases circulation to the joints and surrounding tissues, improving blood flow and providing necessary oxygen and nutrients for joint health. It also reduces inflammation, alleviating stiffness and pain.
Acupuncture stimulates the production of endorphins, which act as natural pain relievers and promote a sense of well-being. Additionally, by reducing inflammation, acupuncture can improve flexibility and range of motion, making movement easier.

It’s worth noting that individual responses to acupuncture may vary, and it’s always recommended to consult a qualified practitioner to receive personalized care and treatment based on your specific needs and health condition.

Here are a few point to consider when you are thinking about acupuncture.
Acupuncture and Chinese medicine are often utilized during the winter season to help promote health and well-being.
According to traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) principles, winter is associated with the Water element and the organs of the Kidneys and Bladder.
Here are some ways acupuncture and Chinese medicine can be beneficial during the winter:

  1. Boosting the immune system: Acupuncture can help strengthen the immune system, which is particularly important during the cold and flu season.
    By stimulating specific points on the body, acupuncture is believed to enhance the body’s natural defense mechanisms and improve overall resistance to illnesses.
  2. Balancing energy flow: TCM views health as a balance of Qi (pronounced “chee”), the vital energy that flows through the body’s meridian pathways.
    Acupuncture can help balance the flow of Qi, ensuring the body’s energy is distributed evenly. This balance is essential during winter when the body’s energy tends to be more inward and introspective.
  3. Treating respiratory issues: Winter is commonly associated with respiratory problems such as colds, coughs, and asthma.
    Acupuncture can help alleviate symptoms associated with these conditions by promoting better lung function, reducing inflammation, and clearing congestion.
  4. Managing stress and improving mood: Winter often brings shorter days, less sunlight, and colder weather, which can affect mood and lead to seasonal affective disorder (SAD) or general winter blues.
    Acupuncture can help regulate mood by promoting the release of endorphins, the body’s natural “feel-good” hormones, and by reducing stress and anxiety.
  5. Nourishing the Kidneys: In TCM, the Kidneys are considered the foundation of vitality and longevity.
    Acupuncture and Chinese herbal medicine can be used to tonify and nourish the Kidneys during winter, as it is believed that they play a crucial role in supporting overall health and resilience during this season.
  6. Regulating sleep patterns: Many people experience changes in sleep patterns during the winter, such as increased fatigue or difficulty falling asleep.
    Acupuncture can help regulate sleep by promoting relaxation, balancing hormones, and addressing underlying imbalances that may be contributing to sleep disturbances.

It’s important to note that the effectiveness of acupuncture and Chinese medicine may vary from person to person.
It’s advisable to consult a qualified practitioner of TCM to receive personalized recommendations and treatments based on your specific needs and health conditions.

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Does acupuncture help with muscle pain after exercise? David Beckham says “yes”.

David Beckham says the best thing for recovery and repair of my muscles after a workout is acupuncture.

David Beckham, who will be turning 48 this May, is well-known for his intense workout routines, and has even designed his own personal workout with HIIT gym F45.
However, he also places great emphasis on the importance of recovery, and has recently revealed that he undergoes weekly acupuncture treatments to aid in his post-workout recovery. In a social media post, he shared a photo of himself receiving acupuncture with the caption,
“The one thing that repairs me after a hard week of working out. Acupuncture.”

Meghan Markle, another celebrity who swears by acupuncture, has been a long-time believer in its benefits. She has previously suffered from debilitating migraines, and credits acupuncture and Eastern medicine for improving her quality of life.
Meghan also received regular acupuncture treatments prior to the birth of her son.

The goal of acupuncture is to restore the body’s equilibrium and stimulate the natural healing process.
It recognizes illness and pain as indications that the body’s equilibrium is out of balance, which can be caused by factors such as emotional and physical stress, poor diet, infection, and injury.

Acupuncture practitioners use subtle diagnostic techniques that have been honed over centuries, with a focus on the individual patient rather than their specific illness.
By inserting ultra-fine, sterile needles into specific points on the body, the practitioner aims to re-establish energy flow, restore balance, and trigger the body’s natural healing process. Initial acupuncture sessions typically last from 45 minutes to an hour, while multiple sessions may be needed to achieve optimal results.

Lynda Thompson is a registered doctor of Chinese Medicine and acupuncture, Lynda attained her Masters degree in China at the university Shandong province, Lynda’s practice is close to Milnerton Medi Clinic in Cape Town. book a consultation HERE

Read more about Dr. Lynda Thompson HERE