What is Western Medical Acupuncture (WMA) and how does it work?
Following a medical diagnosis, WMA uses fine acupuncture needles to influence the physiology of the body according to a scientific view. WMA can work via 5 mechanisms – 4 of which involve the nervous system and one which involves the muscles.
Local effects – WMA stimulates nerve fibres in skin and muscle, increasing local blood flow, promoting local tissue healing.
Segmental Analgesia – WMA reduces pain in the segment where the needles are inserted.
Extrasegmental Analgesia – Action potentials produced by the acupuncture needle can travel from the needle site up to the brain, so can have an effect that extends to the whole body, dulling pain throughout the body.
Central Regulatory Effects – Once reaching the midbrain, the action potentials can influence other parts of the Central Nervous System, often having a calming effect and improving wellbeing.
Myofascial Trigger Points - Once musculoskeletal pain becomes chronic, it is often associated with tender ‘trigger’ points. Trigger points cause the muscles to become shorter and weaker, and as a result restrict movement in the joints as well. WMA inactivates myofascial trigger points – this component of WMA is called Dry Needling.