Stem Cell Therapy and Acupuncture: The Cutting Edge of Regenerative Medicine
Ian Delaney LAc MAOM
As an acupuncturist, I constantly marvel at how simply a few well-placed needles can have such transformative results in my patients. Over the past several years I have read explanations that vary from the idea that needles move qi in the meridians to scientific explanations where the effects of acupuncture stimulus are explained entirely by its influence on the nervous system. Interesting information to be sure, but what of the deeper impact that acupuncture has on the body? How does acupuncture stimulate deep healing processes of the body beyond pain relief?
As many of you know, acupuncture greatly increases blood flow, encourages pain relief by releasing endogenous opioids into the blood stream, and increases our ability to utilize those internal opioids which are released via acupuncture. What is cutting edge– and what you might not yet know– is that acupuncture also stimulates stem cell productivity and mobilizes stem cells to repair damaged tissues.
A recent study from the University of Indiana on the use of acupuncture and tissue repair showed the following:
“The researchers performed a series of lab tests involving humans, horses and rodents that follow the effects of electroacupuncture from the stimulus of the needle all the way to the brain, resulting in the release of reparative mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) into the bloodstream.”
“Depending on the species, electroacupuncture led to activation of the hypothalamus — a part of the brain that controls the nervous system and involuntary bodily functions such as heart rate and digestion — within nine to 22 minutes. The stem cells were mobilized within two hours”1
The increase of mobilized stem cells (native to the person) when treated with acupuncture is strongly correlated to an increase in healing/recovery time. As we get older, our ability to produce stem cells decreases significantly. This decrease is seen as a likely key in our body’s aging process.2
Stem Cell Therapy, a regenerative therapy offered at Nature Cures Clinic, is a possible answer to the cause of aging, pain and disease. Using ethically (and viably) harvested stem cells from consenting donors, doctors administer MSCs to the body in various means determined via consultation with a doctor. As these MSCs are harvested from donated umbilical cords, the stem cells replicate at a significantly faster rate than those native to the person. Combined with acupuncture and other therapies offered here in Portland, OR, one’s healing potential can increase drastically.