How does acupuncture work? Part II

Move that qi!

When an acupuncture point is stimulated (by pressure or needle), it causes the release of endorphins, a neurotransmitter.

How does acupuncture or acupressure work?

Acupuncture and acupressure and both ways to stimulate certain “points” on the body. As the name implies, acupressure involves using pressure and acupuncture involves using a needle. There are certain “points” on the body that are located on pathways called meridians. There are 12 meridians mapping the body, each corresponding to an organ system.

When an acupuncture point is stimulated (by pressure or a needle), it causes the release of endorphins, a neurotransmitter. The release of endorphins cause pain signals to be calmed as well as bring oxygen and blood to the area that was stimulated. This increase in blood and oxygen cause the muscle fibers to relax and encourages the natural healing process of the body to take place.

How to “stimulate” the points:

Tension tends to concentrate around acupressure points. When a muscle is in spasm or is chronically tense, the fibers contract due to the secretion of lactic acid. The lactic acid secretion is caused by over-use, fatigue, stress, poor circulation, or trauma. When an acupressure point is held or a needle is placed in a point, the muscle fibers relax and tension dissipates. When doing acupressure, use gradual and steady finger pressure or rubbing to the area for about 1-3 minutes.

This is how pressing or stimulating acupressure points can lead to decrease in symptoms such as pain, headaches, digestive issues, and many other common conditions.


Dr. Heintze at Starting Point Acupuncture and Wellness, see patients at her private practice in downtown Bothell. If you would like further information or to schedule a consultation, please call the office at (425) 686-4498.

Call or Schedule Now! (425) 686-4498

Call or Schedule Now!

(425) 686-4498

Dr. Ellie Heintze, ND, LAc

  • Master’s Degree in Acupuncture
    Bastyr University
  • Doctorate in Naturopathic Medicine
    Bastyr University
  • Master’s Degree in Chemistry
    Northern Arizona University
Dr. Heintze Acupuncturist and Naturopathic Doctor

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