Needles stimulate sensory nerves under the skin and in the muscles. This may relieve pain by releasing endorphins, the body’s natural pain-killing chemicals, and by affecting the part of the brain that governs serotonin, a brain chemical involved with mood.
Electroacupuncture uses a mild electric current passes between needles during treatment. It has been proved to be a safe treatment method. When you get electroacupuncture, it activates your sympathetic nerve fibers. By activating these fibers, your body releases endogenous opioids such as endorphins, which help to reduce inflammation. The activated nerve fibers may also help to reduce feelings of persistent pain. This makes it a good treatment for chronic pain and stress.
Cupping is a type of therapy that placing cups on the skin to suck local muscles. The suction can relieve muscle tension by enlarging capillary vessel, increasing new connective tissues and creating new blood vessels in the tissue to promote cell repair. The cup is set in place for a set time, usually between 5 and 10 minutes. After the cups are removed, any mild bruising or other marks usually go away within 10 days of the session.
Moxibustion involves burning moxa, a cone or stick made of ground mugwort leaves, on or near your body’s meridians and acupuncture points. The temperature, smoke, odor, and herbs are likely to be involved in the possible mechanisms by which moxibustion may work. And it stimulates local acupoints, promotes the role of local blood circulation.
Herbal medicines are those with active ingredients made from plant parts, such as leaves, roots or flowers. Generally speaking, herbal remedies are safe, because they are natural mild medicine,it will not have any serious reaction with other medicine or vitamins you take.
Acupuncture has been used to assist with IVF based on the current research:
- Acupuncture can improve ovulation by altering the secretion of endogenous opioids, especially beta-endorphin in the central nervous system and thus influences the secretion of GnRH, which in turn influences the secretion of gonadotrophins. (Huang et al. 2011; Anderson et al. 2007)
- It can improve uterine blood flow, reduce the uterine motility and also improve the ovarian blood flow, thus it may improve the embryo implantation. (Huang et al. 2011; Chang et al. 2002; Anderson et al. 2007; Ho et al. 2009)
- It can alter immune function by modulating cytokine production which improves the outcome of IVF. (Huang et al. 2011; Anderson et al. 2007).
- It can reduce stress and depression. (Isoyama et al. 2012; Domar et al. 2009)
- It can relieve pain during oocyte retrieval. (Omodei et al. 2010; Dalton-Brewer et al. 2009; Westergaard et al. 2006)
- It can improve pregnancy rate, especially when acupuncture is administered on the day of embryo transfer. (Balk, Judith, et al. 2010)
- It can help with OHSS ( Ovary hyperstimulation syndrome).( Hong, Yan-Li, et al, 2014)
Yes, some studies reveal that acupuncture can increase the serum testosterone level in blood, the improvement of sperm motility.( Gerhard, I., I. Jung, and F. Postneek 1992)
Insomnia refers to the abnormal sleep quantity and the abnormal behavior in sleep, including insomnia, somnolence, teeth grinding, sleepwalking, etc. The function of acupuncture in helping with insomnia has been testified from animal experiment level and clinical level:
- Acupuncture stimulate the opiodergic neurons in rats resulting in increased concentrations of beta‐endorphin which might have a sleep promoting effect (Cheng 2009). 2.Acupuncture increases melatonin secretion, which is associated with improvement in sleep (Spence 2004).
- Stimulation of certain acupoints is found to increase nitric oxide in the brain and the blood, which is associated with sleep improvement clinically (Li 2003).
- Acupuncture can also cause up‐regulation of an important inhibitory neurotransmitter, gamma‐aminobutyric acid (GABA) that may promote sleep (Fu 2009).
- Acupuncture also results in modulation of the autonomic nervous system(ANS), affecting both sympathetic and parasympathetic activities, which may be associated with its sleep‐promoting effect (Huang 2011).
Among different acupuncture, scalp acupuncture has an outstanding outcome of helping with insomnia. Scalp acupuncture can stimulate specific brin area’s cerebral cortex and regulate the autonomic nervous system.
It works through pathway of acupuncture analgesia- the endogenous opioid system. Opioid peptides can produce pleasure, and decrease anxiety and gastrointestinal discomfort, so opioid peptides are considered to have antidepressant effect.( Wang XJ, Wang LL,2010) Acupuncture also stimulates the expression of serotonin receptors, such as 5-HT1A and 5-HT1B, in the core brain regions. (Savitz et al., 2009). 5-HT1A receptor and 5HT1B receptor have important role in regulating depression.
Perimenopausal syndrome (PMS) is a female reproductive disorder, presenting a series of somatic and psychological symptoms, such as menstrual disorders, anxiety, change of blood pressure, hot flashes, depression and sweating, and insomnia. The mechanism of acupuncture in reliving the symptoms of PMS are listed below:
- It can regulate the hypothalamic-pituitary ovarian (HPOA) by increasing the level of serum E2, decrease the levels of FSH and LH.
- It can enhance the immune systems by increasing estrogen receptor expression of immune cells.
- It can regulate the metabolism of free radicals and enhance the activities of anti-oxidases to anti-aging.
- Some animal research shows that acupuncture can modulate the neurotransmitters such as substance P(SP), β-endorphins (β-EP), 5-hydroxytryptamine (HT), dopamine (DA), epinephrine (E), which is important in regulating the secretion of GnRH.