How does acupuncture work?
Acupuncture is the process of inserting very fine needles into the body at specific pressure points to generate a reactionary change. When you insert a foreign object into the body beyond the protective layer of skin, the body’s immune system responds. It sends white blood cells to kill infection and red blood cells which transfer oxygen and regenerate tissue.
When someone has a pain unrelated to an injury, it could be that their brain turned on a pain signal. It won’t shut off until the signal is interrupted. Inserting a metal object into a pain point can be the interfering signal required to reset the circuits in the nerve endings in the brain. I always tell my patients that acupuncture stimulates the body to do what it’s naturally supposed to.
Is acupuncture an accepted form of treatment in the medical community?
It is becoming increasingly popular. There are some hospitals now using acupuncture to alleviate pain. As well, the VA has incorporated acupuncture treatments in the care of veterans. It’s used a lot to treat PTSD. The downside to this is the medical industry trying acupuncture and Chinese medicine while excluding the practitioner.
What is the history of acupuncture in the Black community?
A group of eight Black Panthers went to China to study acupuncture. They learned about the specific points on the ears that could be penetrated to thwart heroine addiction. At that time, Black soldiers were coming back from deployment with opioid addictions. Black people weren’t receiving the best care at that time, so they started making pop-up clinics wherein acupuncture was commonly used. That’s how the first community acupuncture clinics began in America. Today it has been proven that those same pressure points on the ears, can be stimulated for any addiction. It’s effective because acupuncture settles the nervous system.