Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Is acupuncture Paleo?

Acupuncture is ancient, so it's Paleo right?

is acupuncture paleo?
OK. That question is a little tongue in cheek, but seriously, I wonder if there is anything to back up the traditional Chinese medicine of acupuncture.

I was recently doing some work on a client's website and reading about the kinds of things the treatment is supposed to help. Our client does acupuncture in San Luis Obispo, CA. Check out these claims and let me know what you think. Here is an excerpt from the Treat Paine Acupuncture site:

Acupuncture is considered an effective frontline treatment for a variety of conditions according to the U.S. National Institute of Health, the British Medical Association, and the World Health Organization.

Painful Conditions:
  • Low Back Pain
  • Knee Pain
  • Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
  • Tennis Elbow
  • Osteoarthritis
  • Rheumatoid Arthritis
  • Neck Pain
  • Nerve Pinch
  • Headaches / Migraines
  • Stomach Pain
  • Menses Pain
  • Sport Injuries

Women's Health:
  • Infertility
  • Painful and Difficult Pregnancy
  • Morning Sickness
  • Malposition of Fetus / Breach Birth
  • PMS
  • Irregular Menses
  • Dysmenorrhea
  • Endometriosis
  • Fibromyalgia
Mental - Emotional Problems:
  • Depression
  • Anxiety - Palpitations
  • Irritability
  • Stress
  • Low Energy
  • Insomnia
Digestive Problems:
  • Irritable Bowel Disease
  • Dysentery / Diarrhea
  • Constipation
  • Cramping and Gastric issues
Cancer Treatment:
  • Adverse Reactions to Radiation & Chemotherapy
  • Nausea and Vomiting
  • Fatigue
  • Quality of Life
  • Anxiety / Depression
  • Immune Suppression
Acupuncture Needles:
The needles are about the size of a human hair or 1/12 the size of a typical hospital needle. They are extremely fine and slip easily thru the outer dermal layers without causing pain. The needles are sterile and disposed of after each use.  Nearly all patients notice a calm and enjoyably peaceful feeling post-treatment. 

How It Works:
We know acupuncture has multiple specific effects on human physiology and blood chemistry. Inserted needles result in local and systemic changes.  The brain centers responsible for modulating pain and mood are regulated.  Localized concentrations of the bodies endogenous pain relieving compounds are multiplied. Damaged nerves return to normal levels of intensity and duration when sending signals.   

The Mechanism: 
Systemic:  A Harvard study(1) showed that a signal from an acupuncture needle regulates the limbic center in the brain. Within the limbic center lies the hypothalamus which regulates the endorcrine system. It is hypothesized that acupuncture needling regulates the limbic center which regulates the hypothalamus which regulates the endocrine system and this results in the diverse effects that are observed.

Local:  Acupuncture has been shown to return a damaged nerve to it's proper signal intensity and rate of firing.  It also stimulates an increase in localized concentration of Adenosine which acts as the bodies endogenous pain reliever.  

It Is Not In Your Head:
A recent study at the University College London provides a rational basis that acupuncture effects are not the same as the placebo effect.  This new research showed a region of the brain involved in pain response, the ipsilateral insular was activated during real acupuncture and not during fake needling. Therefore, acupuncture causes measurable physical effects unrelated to a patient's positive or negative expectations and beliefs.   

Are The Needles Sterile?


  1. I'm not sure if it is a paleo but all i know is yoga can be your back pain treatment.

  2. I think acupuncture is really good to get relief from several joint pain like knee,hip etc. the reasons of these pains are many. sometimes acupuncture is not enough replacement surgery comes important. more information

  3. I have never given it a try. Now I am thinking to imply this. In my country Acupuncture is still not accepted fully. this site