Chronic fatigue syndrome is characterised by severe, disabling fatigue. Other symptoms occur such as musculoskeletal pain, sleep disturbance, impaired concentration and headaches.
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There is evidence to support effectiveness of acupuncture for some of the common symptoms – chronic pain, insomnia, depression.
In general, acupuncture is believed to stimulate the nervous system and cause the release of neurotransmitters. Stimulation of certain acupuncture points has been shown to affect areas of the brain. These are known to reduce sensitivity to pain and stress.
Acupuncture may help to relieve symptoms of chronic fatigue syndrome such as musculoskeletal pain, headache, sleep problems, tiredness and depression by:
- stimulating nerves located in muscles and other tissues. This leads to release of endorphins and other neurohumoral factors. Also changes the processing of pain in the brain and spinal cord .
- stimulating opiodergic neurons to increase the concentrations of beta-endorphin, so relieving pain .
- reducing inflammation, by promoting release of vascular and immunomodulatory factors.
- improving muscle stiffness and joint mobility by increasing local microcirculation . This can reduce swelling and pain.
- reducing insomnia through increasing nocturnal endogenous melatonin secretion .
Acupuncture is a tried and tested system which has been used in China and other eastern cultures for thousands of years. It can restore, promote and maintain good health. Its benefits are now widely acknowledged all over the world. In the past decade acupuncture has begun to feature more prominently in mainstream healthcare.
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