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This article has very few specifics, but is a nice summary for those who are unfamiliar with acupuncture and a nice validation. I like this part “It creates minute traumas along the skin’s surface to bring a beneficial inflammatory response.” This is part of the way I explain acupuncture ever since reading a book on the immunology involved in sunburn. Microtrauma to the skin can cause a whole cascade of responses.
“In Chinese medicine, there is a saying: Where there is blockage there is pain, but where there is no blockage there is no pain. We know this to be true in Western medicine as well. When we hurt, inflammation effectively blocks and redirects our body’s healing resources to the site of an injury or infection.
As a result, we often manipulate inflammation as a tool to bring about healing. The traditional Chinese practice of acupuncture works in much the same way. It creates minute traumas along the skin’s surface to bring a beneficial inflammatory response. Acupuncture does more than simply irritate local tissue, though. The effect of each needle can bring widespread and lasting relief by directing inflammation to our neural pain sensors and to areas that stimulate muscle spasms, also called orthopedic trigger points.”