Contemporary Medical Acupuncture

What is Contemporary Medical Acupuncture?

Contemporary Medical Acupuncture is a precise peripheral nerve stimulation technique, in which fine solid needles (acupuncture needles) are inserted into anatomically defined neurofunctional sites, and stimulated manually or with electricity for the therapeutic purpose of modulating abnormal activity of the nervous system and/or the endocrine, exocrine and immune systems, in pain syndromes, functional problems, and any diseases in which these modulatory mechanisms are available. Neuromodulation occurs through neurological and neurohumoral mechanisms at multiple levels, namely: peripheral nerves, spinal cord, brain stem, brain and cerebellum.

Contemporary Medical Acupuncture is mechanism-based, not disease-based. Therapeutic goals and treatment targets are selected based on the identified neurological dysfunctions contributing to the clinical presentation of the symptoms.

Sometimes Contemporary Medical Acupuncture treatments result in transient amelioration or disappearance of the symptoms, and other times results in permanent resolution of the dysfunction, especially when dysregulation of the nervous system was the underlying pathophysiological mechanism.

This is a physiological intervention similar to exercise that elicits existing available regulatory mechanisms through the up-regulation and down-regulation of specific cellular processes. Basically, endorphins are released and promote different effects around the body to speed up healing and decrease pain.

What are the benefits of Contemporary Medical Acupuncture for patients?

Acupuncture can be effective as a solitary treatment, or as an adjunct to other therapeutic interventions. The World Health Organization recognizes the use of acupuncture in the treatment of:

  • Sports related injuries and other movement disorders;
  • Musculoskeletal pain problems: neck pain, shoulder pain, low back pain, joint pain;
  • Chronic pain: headaches, sciatica, osteoarthritis, neuritis and facial pain;
  • Digestive disorders: irritable bowel, constipation, diarrhoea and gastritis;
  • Menstrual and reproductive problems: dysmenorrhea, perimenopausal symptoms and infertility;
  • Urinary tract disorders: prostatitis and bladder dysfunction;
  • Respiratory problems: sinusitis, asthma, sore throat and recurrent respiratory tract infections;
  • Stress related problems: addictions and post-traumatic stress disorder.

While both acupuncture and cold laser treatment have been associated with endorphin release, the exact mechanisms are not fully understood. Some factors that could contribute to this response include the stimulation of specific acupuncture points or the modulation of neural pathways. The reported feeling of being "drunk" or "high" may be due to the release of endorphins, which are natural pain-relieving and mood-enhancing chemicals. However, more research is needed to comprehensively understand the interplay of these factors and the resulting physiological effects. That being said, many of Dr. Cohen's patients report feeling this phenomenon and as a results often report sleeping much better in the days following treatment.

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