Research shows that acupuncture is effective in treating injured and damaged nerves. During an acupuncture treatment, needles an acupuncturist will insert needles into the areas of the body which stimulate the nervous system. The needles will then release endorphins, serotonin, and hormones in the spinal cord, the brain, and muscles. Endorphins and serotonin are chemicals the body produces as natural painkillers. They help the body to regulate pain and promote the body’s self-healing abilities.
Can Acupuncture Heal Damaged Nerves?
Researchers have found that the metabolic microenvironment is affected by nerve injuries. Furthermore, they also observed that sciatic nerve injuries reduced acetylcholinesterase activity in the lumbar spinal cord microenvironment caused by sciatic nerve damage. This damage causes neuronal cell death which leads to impeded nerve repair.
Neural Regeneration Research findings suggest that acupuncture effectively repairs damage to both upper and lower limb motor nerves. The findings of Electromyographic nerve conduction tests show up to 80 percent of patients respond positively to acupuncture treatment. Acupuncture significantly improves motor nerve conduction velocity and amplitude as well as repairs functional nerves.
Patients undergoing acupuncture using only local acupuncture points reported an efficacy rate of 38.5 percent. By adding points to the Du meridian, efficacy climbed to 80 percent. Du meridian acupuncture points are below the spinous processes of the vertebrae along the back, on the midline. The Du meridian comprises 28 primary points and extra acupuncture points.
After applying electro-acupuncture to these points over a period of six weeks (five sessions per week), researchers reported functional repair to damaged peripheral nerves. The treatment involved using a governor vessel and local meridian acupuncture points simultaneously. In this study, the acupuncture needles were 0.35 x 25 mm at a depth of approximately 1 cun at each of the acupoints. Initially, manual acupuncture was used to provoke a response. This was followed up with an application of electro-acupuncture, using a sparse-dense wave of between 2 – 100 Hz.
Studies show that acupuncture is effective when applying needles to the upper and lower limb points simultaneously. Acupuncture is great for treating injuries to a variety of nerves by inserting needles into different acupuncture points. While this may not mean much to the layman, this form of traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) can heal:
- Radial nerve injuries
- Ulnar nerve injuries
- Median nerve injuries
- Peroneal nerve injuries
- Tibial nerve injuries
- Sciatic nerve injuries
- Brachial plexus injuries
Other Benefits of Acupuncture
By promoting the body’s self-healing abilities, acupuncture also helps people to maintain a healthy emotional and physical state. Furthermore, acupuncture treats and relieves a number of conditions including vertigo, numbness, brain and spine ailments, febrile diseases, tremors, as well as infertility.
Acupuncture is perfectly safe. However, pregnant women should exercise caution as research shows acupuncture can cause premature labor. We do not recommend acupuncture for people who bruise or bleed easily, people who are using blood thinners or have a bleeding disorder. Consult with your general practitioner before receiving acupuncture treatment.
Additional Reading: Acupuncture for Neuropathy
Southlake Natural Family Wellness
Our mission is to support the health and well-being of our patients by offering individualized, comprehensive holistic care including acupuncture, herbal recommendations, customized nutritional counseling, allergy elimination (NAET), whole food supplements, lifestyle suggestions, moxibustion, and cupping, as well as helping couples get pregnant and STAY pregnant by supporting all the paths to conception.
About Farrah Hamraie
Farrah Hamraie, L.Ac, MOM, Dipl.OM (NCCAOM), is licensed and board-certified in Acupuncture and Herbal medicine in the State of Texas with a Masters of Oriental Medicine from the Dallas College of Oriental Medicine. She is also a Diplomat of NCCAOM (the National Certification Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine), a Board Certified Acupuncturist, Chinese Herbalist, and a member of the American Association of Oriental Medicine.