Medical Acupuncture, the result of a historical evolution, has its foundations lays on the evidences of clinical efficacy, as well as on the knowledge of the biological mechanisms of action, , synthetically defined as neuromodulation.
It has been stated that even being apparently similar to the Chinese traditional practice, modern Acupuncture is actually very different. The ancient theoretical explanations for disease and therapeutics, based in peculiar conceptions like the flowing of a supposed ethereal substance named Qi (Chee) are replaced by neurobiological ones, like the mechanisms of the Acupuncture analgesia, which are conceived as resultant of the stimulation and modulation of the activity of nerve fibers.
The knowledge on the biological bases of Acupuncture achieved such a degree of deepness that created the need of making an update of its theoretical bases, and a subsequent renew on the method’s practice. Data provided by the basic and the clinical research expand and does not reduce the method, in addition to found in a solid ground the practice of Medical Acupuncture, opening new therapeutic purposes of the method.
The therapeutic process of Acupuncture, that begin with the stimulation of sites that provide access to the peripheral neural net, promotes analgesia, motor rehabilitation, normalization of the control and regulation of organic functions, modulation of immunity, of endocrine autonomic and mental functions, and activation of the regenerative processes.
Acupuncture, as a group of methods for peripheral neural stimulation, exerts an effect of physiologic re-learning, , in two ways – modifying neuronal connectivity patterns, by means of the activation of peripheral devices of informational input that operate as commands in an interface with decision centers, and by triggering long term potentiation (LTP), as a consequence of the modulation of neurotransmitters required to the effectiveness of changes in memory processes.
It has also been reported that the repeated stimulation of the physiologic pain inhibitory systems and autonomic regulation train the organism to continue with this activity, keeping for long term the effects like pain relief, in a way similar to the disturbed autonomic functions training.
On the other hand, the recent advances in pathophysiology and on the knowledge of the mechanisms of many clinical conditions, like the dysfunctional syndromes and the chronic conditions, for which there is a growing interest, qualify Medical Acupuncture as one of the first-choice methods, for the treatment of this kind diseases.
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